"... a riddle, inside a mystery, wrapped in an enigma."
This is my first Sunday Scribbling, but it seems appropriate that today is the day. This afternoon, I saw An Inconvenient Truth, the new Al Gore film about global warming.
My vision of heaven is a place where all of life's mysteries are answered: Who shot JFK, did Marilyn Monroe die of a drug overdose, and why Al Gore lost the 2000 presidential election. More to the point: How did George W. Bush get elected president? Twice?
Like most Americans, I am environmentally unconscious. I recycle because I have to, but I don't do anything really to help preserve our natural resources. Recently in my office, my coworkers and I have talked about how acceptable it seems these days that people are constantly throwing cigarette butts, coffee cups, and trash out of their cars. We think litterers should be arrested and made to do five hours of community service cleaning trash off of highways. At the very least, they should be OUTED by taking pictures of their license plates and put on a blog for all the world to see.
But I digress. An Inconvenient Truth effectively makes the point that we can't take for granted those things we think are always going to be around forever--glaciers, forests, the atmosphere. If we (if I ) keep sleepwalking through this life, the damage that we have done to the planet will be irrevocable.
The film takes Gore's PowerPoint presentation and amplifies it for the broader audience. It also splices the lecture with segments about Al Gore, the man. I learned more about his life than I did when he was in Congress, the White House, and running for president. It also softens his image, showing off his true passions. I can't think of a man or woman born to be president more than Al Gore, but maybe this was his true calling--to lead the charge for saving the earth. But honestly: it is a mystery to me why we didn't see this side of Gore in the 2000 election?
Gore's story reminds me that life is not about the past or the future, but it's about the ride. Something always pops up which tests our fortitude. It's how we handle the mystery that shapes our character.
How we handle the environment will shape the planet for generations to come.