Monday, December 17, 2007

Mr. Gore and his truth

As I take a break from something like my twenty-third hour of shoveling this week, I begin to ponder over Mr. Gore’s inconvenient truth. While snow doesn’t necessarily mean that the temperature is any colder, a quick chat with my knowledgeable friend, Google, confirms what many of us, shovel in hand, have already come to believe. Weather forecasts show below average temperatures and, you may want to turn off the snow blower, come inside and take a seat for this next one: Environment Canada is predicting that we may be in for the coldest winter in fifteen years – so my mom was right when she said she hasn’t seen snow like this since the seventies. I wouldn’t know what the seventies were like, but I certainly know that I’ve never shoveled so much in my life! So what of this inconvenient truth? So what of this global warming? For those of us still rubbing the feeling back into our toes and fingers, warming certainly doesn’t ring true. But all this shoveling certainly is inconvenient. Probably some of us are wishing Mr. Gore would turn in his hybrid and start pumping out those emissions again. We’ll rub our hands and hold them up to the exhaust, like we’re gathering, cozy around our living room fireplaces.

So no, I don’t believe in global warming. I guess that puts me out of fashion these days, but I never was one for trends. The weather on the other hand, she loves trends, especially long term trends that occur over many decades. I’d call it climate change but Mr. Gore has hijacked this term to dub his ‘truth’, while in reality it refers to warming and cooling. Both of which we have a lot of in Canada – in degrees ranging from sweltering to frigid.

Don’t get me wrong, I commend Mr. Gore for drawing attention to our rather outrageous footprint on this our precious Earth and I fully support doing everything we can to make amends to her. However, we should be doing so for better reasons than fear. We should be doing it because we care about our Earth and because we care about our fellow human beings, not because it is trendy. We should be doing it because we know better and we have the tools in place to make a difference. We should be doing it precisely because we should be doing it.

Winters like this are convincing detractors from Mr. Gore’s ‘truth’ and while encouraging green-minded thinking as a means for combating global warming is clever, my fear is that this eco-friendly attitude cannot be sustained if future data finds such an inconvenient truth crumbling. So get back out there and finish your shoveling. But instead of grumbling, spend a minute being inspired by the wonders of snow and sky and earth. Let this be your inspiration for reducing, re-using and recycling. There is far more power in beauty than there is in fear.

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