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A good beginning, but I have reservations

04/19/2007

By Dave Sellers

Regarding the movie on global warming that showed at the Big Picture Theater as part of Seven Days for The Earth. There were great images, a good beginning and it was very thought provoking.

I came out with some reservations. Such as: why bring in the Christian evangelists? Why suggest that they will revamp the Republican Party? So what? It needs it. But, the point must have been changing people's minds. And that we need to do. But when it comes through faith, it weakens the science.  

And, playing the god card was weak. "We humans are insulting god with our lack of attention to the planet." How does that point strengthen our need to readdress our impact and consequences of our actions now?

Another implied notion in the film was that a technological fix was all we need to go back to business as usual. The part on colleges going in competition to get SUVs less gas guzzling (all financed by the auto and gas companies) was especially transparent. A message that all we need to do is get hydrogen, or windmills or CO2 eaters on line and we can go back to our trusted ways was presented, then on questioning, the director suggested we go slow but focus on China and India as they really need to change. This was particularly weak. China and India are copying and will copy the U.S. If we say, same old, same old, just get a technical fix and back to basics, then China and India will bring us all down.

There was no comment on sprawl, scattered growth and the social issues of isolation, local food and goods production, and bringing back light rail transportation to compact pedestrian communities. Hopefully they will emerge later in other presentations.

It is good to see the commitment and focus on these troubling and complex issues. Having specious and misleading presentations is likely good as it gets us all involved, even angry and upset. All good. I think it was a mistake to bill this film as one of the best and most thorough so far. Al Gore's film was detailed and invoked specific routes we, as individuals and communities, can do. And it was a much better film.

James Lovelock developed the GHIA concept that this earth has all the features of a living being. That, in fact, the earth is alive complete with systems in place that manage and regulate its consistent stability. This being the case and it is being overrun with parasites that are destroying the host (the movie mentioned the famous pogo quote: "We have met the enemy and it is us"), it makes sense that earth is trying to adjust.  

Maybe we will be well advised to examine how earth can adjust to our presence and see if we can live with it.   Maybe it needs to melt the ice pack (a fire escape type feature just in case it needs water) to warm the planet so more trees and plants will grow up to take up the CO2 and give off more oxygen. Or maybe it needs to shrug off the parasites.

Dave Sellers lives in Warren.
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