Happy Health and Environment Day!

An Inconvenient Truth

The movie, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ captures Al Gore, the former US vice-president’s journey to transform the world into a better place to live. Initially, it connects the viewers to the beauty of nature, leading to Al Gore’s introspection as a politician, whose “message” to the world wasn’t conveyed as he had expected. With a multimedia presentation and personal anecdotes, he enlightens the audience about the effects of global warming.

He describes Earth as vulnerable, for being covered by a thin layer of atmosphere. As the movie progresses, one forgets that he is a politician and comes across as a Science teacher, explaining the process of solar radiation and infrared waves. He wastes not even a second, while building a concrete explanation, through real experiences. Shifting to the informal gear, he introduces the audience to his college professor named Roger, who defined the larger changes in civilization and how he had “soaked it up like a sponge”. Running through a timeline of events that dealt with climate change, he talks about the visible effects of global warming, through pictures of Kilimanjaro, where snow is now almost negligible. “Ice has stories to tell,” he says, portraying the Antarctica scene. Here, the actual climatic condition can be fathomed with the help of bubbles trapped in its ice, showing a rise in carbon dioxide content every year. But, the Congressmen find it perfectly okay!

“How I should spend time on Earth” became his mission after his son’s death. In his quest to understand the climate issues, he travelled to various places, consistently imbibing scientists’ perspective. Returning to facts, he talks about the hottest years (1990-2004), where Europe suffered a massive heat wave in 2003, killing 35,000 people. “Nature is going crazy” he says, highlighting Mumbai’s largest downpour in 2006, observing 37 inches of rain in 24 hours. Quoting Winston Churchill on how the era of procrastination has its share of consequences, he asks how one would react to warnings given by scientists about the same.

Ecological balance is disturbed. Mosquitoes climbing to higher altitudes, new diseases emerging, coral reefs in jeopardy, disappearing ice shelves are few images about the impact of global warming, given by Al Gore as food for thought. Scientific revolution is a coin with two sides- boon and bane. With an interesting animation, he explains why the frog needs to be rescued, with reference to human body’s coping mechanisms in different climatic conditions. Al Gore also provides an essential insight into how environment is a political issue, where scientists have been persecuted, ridiculed, been deprived of jobs because “facts they discovered led them to ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, that they insisted on telling”.

He motivates the audience by stating examples from history, where US has united to fight for freedom and their rights, thus opening their eyes to the capability the country has to bring about a change in this aspect. People know the solution to global warming, but need the right amount of determination to materialize it. “Gold bars versus the entire planet?” he poses the big question.

Happy Magazine Writing day!

Rachel Sauer: What was the most peaceful day you ever had?

 

Me:  Tick, tock, tick, tock….

The hands of the clock competed with mine. Summer’s heat amplified as my anxiety escalated, when the last minute of my undergrad final paper, Evergreen English Literature, drew near. In a large classroom, packed with some of my batchmates and other undergrads, introspectively, I went down the memory lane, while my pen meticulously worked towards its goal. Life was a strange rush that year, finely etched with inner turmoil and academic battles that had to be conquered. With every passing second, I sensed relief, knowing that “This too shall pass!” After doing justice to all my literary characters, dramatic devices, analysis of excerpt of a play, I took a deep breath. Although my hands felt numb, after all writing the lengthiest paper, for that microsecond, it felt surreal. “Sir”, someone squealed out to the invigilator and I lost my train of thought. Flipping through all the pages, scanning to fix any possible errors, I focused again.

“Voila!” the air whispered into my ear. My ecstasy knew no bounds, when my pen stroked the last “period” on the rectangular white booklet. I kissed Literature a sweet goodbye.