a nature hike through the book of revelations

Sunday morning I arrived in Melbourne after three weeks in Adelaide, my fifth domestic flight since June and one of hundreds of hours at eleven thousand meters during the past four years. Paul has bought a new car, a Toyota Prius that uses regenerative braking and a bunch of other mechanical engineering genius to cause us to roll alongside Albert Park lake at 60 kmh using no petrol and also charging the hybrid engine battery, or almost 1000 km for every 45 litre tank. Not quite as efficient as my bicycle.

Last night we went to the movies, to see a film that should be playing to packed houses and week-long queues and not the mostly empty seats occasionally populated by exactly the kind of person who doesn’t need to see it; the already converted and believers. An Inconvenient Truth.

I imagine most readers here are already well-informed and educated on global warming, but for those of you who aren’t please please go and see this film by Al Gore and imagine the world we would live in now had he become president instead of the usurper and pretender Bush. Then do something about it.

Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced.

If that sounds like a recipe for serious gloom and doom — think again. From director Davis Guggenheim comes the Sundance Film Festival hit, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, which offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man’s fervent crusade to halt global warming’s deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it. That man is former Vice President Al Gore, who, in the wake of defeat in the 2000 election, re-set the course of his life to focus on a last-ditch, all-out effort to help save the planet from irrevocable change. In this eye-opening and poignant portrait of Gore and his “traveling global warming show,” Gore also proves himself to be one of the most misunderstood characters in modern American public life. Here he is seen as never before in the media – funny, engaging, open and downright on fire about getting the surprisingly stirring truth about what he calls our “planetary emergency” out to ordinary citizens before it’s too late.

With 2005, the worst storm season ever experienced in America just behind us, it seems we may be reaching a tipping point – and Gore pulls no punches in explaining the dire situation. Interspersed with the bracing facts and future predictions is the story of Gore’s personal journey: from an idealistic college student who first saw a massive environmental crisis looming; to a young Senator facing a harrowing family tragedy that altered his perspective, to the man who almost became President but instead returned to the most important cause of his life – convinced that there is still time to make a difference.

With wit, smarts and hope, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH ultimately brings home Gore’s persuasive argument that we can no longer afford to view global warming as a political issue – rather, it is the biggest moral challenges facing our global civilization.