Wednesday, March 7, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

I'm not very good at updating this regularly. Oh well.

In my Broadcast Operations class, we watched a docudrama/documentary called "An Inconvenient Truth." It's a film adaptation of Al Gore's book of the same name. The message the film was trying to make is that Global Warming is indeed a problem and it needs to be fixed, or the consequences could be devastating.

I'll admit right now that I did not watch the entire movie. I had somewhere to be and couldn't stick around in class to watch it all, but I got the gist of it.

Gore explained that global warming is indeed a natural process. It happens every year in fact. It starts with the sun's rays shining onto Earth. Some of the UV rays bounce off the atmosphere, some enter the atmosphere and bounce out, and some get stuck under the atmosphere. But that's ok. It's normal. The next level of Global Warming is the trees. Every summer, the CO2 levels in the atmosphere are lower because of the leaves on the trees in taking CO2 and changing it to oxygen through photosynthesis. Then in the winter, the leaves die, and they release all the CO2 they've been holding, and it goes into the atmosphere. Therefore, the CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere.

He showed a lot of charts of the progression of global warming throughout the years, and it has remained relatively stable. However, in more recent years, the CO2 levels have been increased to an unnatural level. This is causing more of the sun's UV rays to get stuck inside of the Earth's atmosphere, which is causing the Earth to heat up. He showed pictures of glaciers from a few years ago, and now, to show how much they've receded in the last few years. It's insane. He also showed a lake, which used to be one of Earth's largest lakes, that is now dried up to almost nothing.

When I presented this information to my brother (who doesn't believe that Global Warming is a problem) he scoffed at it and expression no concern for the melting of the glaciers. He also stated that there's nothing we can do about it, even if it is a problem. My dad then interjected that because the glaciers are melting, water levels in other lakes and the oceans are going to rise, so the cities all along coast lines are going to have to come up with some way to defend themselves when the levels rise.

In addition to the levels rising, I'm sure we can't ignore the fact that we experienced record numbers of hurricanes this last year, in addition to losing (in my opinion) one of the greatest cities in America because of a hurricane. Who knows what could happen this next summer if the temperatures of Earth are rising, and we have even more of this tropical storms. That's something I don't think we can say for sure will happen.

After watching "An Inconvenient Truth" I briefly considered changing my major, but then thought better of it. I would do terrible at it anyway. Instead, I'll stay with my film/journalism major, and help the environmental science majors spread the message across our country and others about what we're doing to our planet.

With a new found respect for the planet, I really hope we can fix this problem so we don't screw over all the generations of humans ahead of us. Contrary to what George Orwell thought would happen (the complete domination of the government), I believe that before that happens, the Earth is going to have to compromise with Mother Nature. She's truly a force to be reckoned with, much more dangerous than any government.