I continue to look back at all that was in 2007 by examining a former vice-president, a catchy pop song and impending doom.
Sure, An Inconvenient Truth came out in 2006, but its message lingered well into 2007. We are in a lot of trouble unless we do something soon. While Gore's message was hardly a new one, scientists have been talking about it for years, something about hearing it from Al Gore seemed to make it click. I'm not sure if it was the fact that Gore's connections with Clinton, his opposition to Bush, or what it could have been, but to many people he was somehow trustworthy.
As a result of this message, the environment has been greatly at the heart of the public conscious this past year. This has led to a change in both political and commercial rhetoric. As many politicians who once considered Global Warming to be a hippie scare tactic have began talking about environmental issues, and many companies are beginning to advertise their products as being environmentally friendly.
Hell, the fear of global warming even showed up in one of the greatest and most ubiquitous songs of the year. If Al Gore didn't get people listening, then Rhianna sure did.
There are of course a variety of questions surrounding this newfound environmental concern. Many environmentalists are concerned about the validity of this concern, as they raise issues of a "green washing" that is currently occurring by many politicians and corporations, as they exaggerate or falsify the environmental benefit of their policies or products. And of course, many other environmentalists see this public debate as being too little, and too late. In their eyes, the type of action required at this point is far too drastic than we are ready, willing or able to do.
But the newly invigorated environmental movement is not all doom and gloom. With the increase in awareness, comes and increase in funding for research into slowing, and potentially reversing the causes of our short-sited, excessive behaviour. People all over the world are looking into some amazing ideas like carbon sequestering, bio-fuels, renewable energy, electric cars, plastic from orange peels, and some other very exciting technologies. People seem to be finally taking this concern seriously as our generation seems to have found its calling. Our grandparents knew that they had a war to fight, our parents knew that they had a war to stop, and here we ("we" being the ones who don't remember the Vietnam war, but remember the first Iraq War) are with our mission, our goal, we have to save humanity from itself. It's going to be a tough one, but I think that we can find a way to do it. In the future when we look back and find our Pearl Harbour, or Walter Cronkite on the evening news, we will look back at An Inconvenient Truth as the moment that we realized that we couldn't ignore this problem anymore, as the moment that we realized that we needed to do something to make this world a better place.
Until next time,