To Die for a Tree is better than to Live for Money
I just finished the movie An Inconvenient Truth which is clearly far more than just your ordinary movies. The movie was beautifully presented by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore. The film starts with a synopsis in which Al Gore himself is the one narrating. The synopsis goes like this:
You look at that river gently flowing by. You notice the leaves rustling with the wind. You hear the birds; you hear the tree frogs. In the distance you hear a cow. You feel the grass. The mud gives a little bit on the river bank. It’s quiet; it’s peaceful. And all of a sudden, it’s a gear shift inside you. And it’s like taking a deep breath and going… ‘Oh yeah, I forgot about this’.
It was by accident that I happened to have caught this film while HBO was showing a trailer for it. Then I noticed that the trailer was the next the movie to be shown. I was a little bit skeptical about it myself, since i figured I got better things to do than watch a movie on HBO. But something inside of me made me stay th,ere and just watch the whole thing. It wasn’t the fact that Al Gore was the one presenting the film, nor was it the fact that today was a cold rainy day and that I just so happened to be lazy enough to get on my feet. It was the fact that I love Mother Nature, that I love the whole World. And to see that the topic of the film was about one of Earth’s most dangerously growing problem: Global Warming
I trust that you would already know what Global Warming is. If not, then I hope you won’t be so lazy not to click the link I made or at least search the internet for what Global Warming reallly is. Carrying on, the film showed amazing facts that I, if I had not watched the film myself, would never know.
One of the facts presented by Al Gore on his slideshow was the whole definition of global warming in a nutshell. He first explains how the mechanism of it works. He first explained that the layer of atmosphere which protects the earth from the Sun’s harmful rays is so thin that it is actually comparable to a globe with a shining varnish. Yes, IT IS THAT THIN! Al also further explains that it is thin so that it is just enough to retain some of the heat, and release most of it. This process is explained by this link, in which I will quote the exact text to save you guys time:
So clearly, if human activities increase the ability for the earth’s atmosphere to absorb IR radiation, this produces a net warming of the atmosphere over time. This is the Enhanced Greenhouse effect:
Al gore has his version such as explaining that the Greenhouse Gases where making the atmosphere extra thick and the heat that is supposed to be released is actually trapped within Earth. He also showed short clip on how it all happens thru one of my favorite cartoons, Futurama. I took the liberty of googling 2 videos, the first one which clearly shows I am not lying that Al Gore used a cartoon (and a very unlikely one too) to explain global warming. The other is a clearer, cartoon-only version of it. Though I found out that wordpress does not support AOL videos, so here’s a link instead to the clearer version of the cartoon.
Al gore also explains on how carbon dioxide build up is steadily increasing each year, that the amount of carbon dioxide increases and decreases in a graph made thru the years. He also showed pictures in a “BEFORE and AFTER” type of slides. He explained this all in under 10 minutes in the next video:
He also showed that Polar bears may become extinct due to the reduced land ice mass and increasing sealevels thru this video
He also explained how recent storms, specially hurricane katrina, have become so strong in the past decade. And how storms have become more recent. It is due to the fact that warm air increases wind velocity. And it was pretty evident that warmness surrounded the waters below New Orleans. This video explains how Global Warming makes storms stronger.
Scientists have been using evermore accurate computer models that long ago predicted a much higher range of ocean temperatures as a result of man-made global warming. The actual ocean temperatures are completely consistent with what has been predicted, and they’re way above the range of natural variability.
As the oceans get warmer, storms get stronger. In 2004, Florida was hit by 4 unusually powerful hurricanes. That same year, Japan set an all-time record for typhoons. The previous record was 7. In 2004, 10 typhoons hit Japan.
The emerging consensus links global warming to increasingly destructive power of hurricanes, increasing the strength of the average hurricanea full half-step on the well-known 5-step scale. As water temperatures go up, wind velocity goes up. One major study came out less than a month before Hurricane Katrina hit.
When Katrina first hit, it was only a category 1 storm. Then, it passed over the unusually warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico [and became category 5].
He also explained that not only does it cause more storms, but also more droughts.
There has been record flooding in China, which, as one of the planet’s oldest civilizations, keeps the best flood records of any nation in the world.Recently, for example, there were huge floods in Sichuan and Shandong provinces. Paradoxically, however, global warming also causes not only more flooding, but also more drought. The nearby Anhui province was continuing to suffer a severe drought at the same time the neighboring areas were flooding.
One of the reasons for this paradox has to do with the fact that global warming not only increases precipitation worldwide but at the same time causes some of it to relocate.
A second reason for the paradoxical effect of global warming is that while it produces more evaporation from the oceans to fill the warmer atmosphere with increased moisture, it also sucks more moisture out of the soil. Partly as a consequence, desertification has been increasing in the world decade by decade.
More important points made from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth can be read here
At the end of the film, he told people that the current technology and what we know today is actually enough to stop Global Warming and MAYBE even reverse it so that what was once lost may be gained again.
Together, these changes, all of which are based on already-existing, affordable technologies, can bring emissions down to a point below 1970s levels.
- Reduction from more efficient use of electricity in heating and cooling systems, lighting, appliances and electronic equipment.
- Reduction from end-use efficiency, meaning we design buildings and businesses to use far less energy.
- Reduction from increased vehicle efficiency by manufacturing cars that run on less gas and putting more hybrid and fuel-cell cars on the roads.
- Reduction from making other changes in transport efficiency, such as designing better mass transit systems.
- Reduction from increased reliance on renewable energy technologies that already exist.
- Reduction from the capture and storage of excess carbon from power plants and industrial activities.