An Inconvenient Habit

I love Al Gore. It’s my name on Twitter, no joke. I think he is an inspiring man doing some great things for the world. I’d give him a hug if I ever saw him, or try to at least.

While it’s not in any theatre near me (trust me, I’ve checked), if you have the opportunity to see it, I highly recommend it. I know, a blind recommendation probably isn’t what you like to go off of, but if it’s anything like the original documentary, then it’s a must-see. I remember seeing An Inconvenient Truth back in a middle school science class. While most of my class wasn’t dwelling too much on it, hearing the reality and impending future of our planet really stuck with me. I slightly blame anxiety about humanity destroying nature, but I also give credit to greater awareness of the ultimate human rights and environmental issue.

I have spent a post a few months ago talking about an Al Gore TED Talk that gave an optimistic approach to climate change because truly, we have made significant progress. Never has there been a modern time when eco-conscious options were so abundant. Veganism may seem “trendy,” but it’s a movement quickly spreading and making an impact. We’re generally more concerned about our choices. Rather than buying clothes, food, and products blindly, we want to know where it all comes from. Who or what is affected when I put money toward a company or industry?

And while we have a more open mind toward renewable energy, ethical and fair trade business, organic products, and reducing our waste, we still have work to do. The population continues to grow beyond its means. We still engage in the conventional norms of using plastic and eating meat and supporting big oil. We still have overflowing landfills, poaching endangered species, and buying into fast fashion and constant consumption.

I recommend seeing Al Gore’s films, of course, but I do so as a means of context. I hope that those who do watch them have the same connection and motivation as I first did to take action. It’s one thing to passively watch a movie, walk out of the theatre, and go about your day as usual. It’s one thing to discuss a movie with others and review it under a critical lens, but move onto watching whatever comes out next week without batting an eye.

We are doing no justice if we aren’t taking the message to heart. If we do not see those images of devastation to the planet and not feel the call to do our part. We cannot sit idly by and expect a documentary or trend or whatever else to make a difference. We ourselves are the ones in the driver’s seat. Yes, we support the film by purchasing a ticket, but we continue supporting it by using less plastic, by eating less meat, by driving a hybrid, electric, or more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Because the damage we see on the screen isn’t dramatized. Maybe the certain camera angles or background music convince you otherwise, but what damage is done is thanks to us. We must take responsibility for the sheer fact that Al Gore felt the need to make a sequel to his original film. We inevitably don’t want to uproot our livelihoods and adopt completely new habits, so what did we do before? See the scientific evidence of climate change, watch the news for years about the oceans, about dying species, about pollution, and feel numb to it all.

As much as I love Al Gore, I truly hope he doesn’t feel the need to make a trilogy. I hope we take these words and images, regardless if you hear them from Al Gore, me, or whatever source, and take them to heart and action. We think beyond our daily lives and realize the repercussions of every decision we make. We question what is normal and invest in sustainability. These actions right now are ones that will make a difference for those not even in existence yet. They do matter. Your “small, insignificant” life has the potential to do great things, so make those things positive.

I feel like I’m constantly here just rambling on about the environment, but I’ll keep doing so for as long as I have to. I’m committing to speaking out and being denoted as a “hippie” or “treehugger” if that’s what it means to be actively concerned about our planet. It’s not an isolated problem. It’s not just the animals, a certain plant species, a single body of water. So many of our current issues could all in some capacity stem back to climate change. The fact we’re displacing people from unhealthy conditions and flooding landscapes, we’re wreaking havoc on valuable food sources, we’re not making ourselves fully accountable for climate change. And yes, there are still skeptics out there who are ignorant to it all.

Enough of the ranting. But seriously, let’s do something. Let’s take those baby steps toward more progress, more to celebrate. Let’s work so we don’t need documentaries to reveal our actions. We’ll already know because it’ll be a part of history we’ve seen and overcome.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

share your thoughts