26 February 2007

Two wins for An Inconvenient Truth

Former Vice President Al Gore

An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film on global warming by former Vice President Al Gore, won the Oscar for Best Documentary last night. Its theme song, "I Need to Wake Up" by lesbian icon Melissa Etheridge, picked up an Oscar of its own.

I recently watched the documentary myself, and it was a very moving one - showing Gore's commitment to environmentalism over his entire political career, and the ridicules he had earned from skeptics over the years. But the fact is clear, and has been backed up by other studies: global warming today is well beyond the normal fluctuations of Earth's temperature over the past half a million years, is only getting worse, and is very likely human in origin.

Perhaps Gore's loss in the disputed 2000 presidential race was a blessing in disguise. Dropping out of the political limelight has enabled Gore to re-direct his energy toward his environmental passion, and re-launch his image and career in ways no political pundit thought possible. Now, Gore is even promoting a series of rock concerts to be held around the world to preserve the environment. The former "Al Bore" (even though he never was that much of a bore, I know from my personal observations) is suddenly cool and hip.

I hope that the environmental movement, which picked up steam in the early 1990s with Earth Day, will pick up even more steam with Gore's efforts. And while at it, I am confident that those who say "environmental protections cost jobs" will be proven utterly wrong, as all the extra work needed to preserve the environment will create new jobs to more than offset possible job losses. Disregard for the environment, in fact, is already costing jobs, as in the case of big layoffs at American car companies, which have concentrated on gas guzzlers for too long.

Stop Global Warming