Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hot Enough For You? Just Wait

Over the weekend, my wife and I went to see An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore's documentary about global warming. Ironically, what got us out of the house to finally see the movie was the fact that our air conditioner is broken. I have to say that I'm glad we did. Everyone should see this movie. It's easy to be skeptical of a film that is largely just former vice president Al Gore just giving a Powerpoint presentation, but somehow it works. Despite Gore's involvement I would not characterize this as a partisan film. Sure, there's a short bit about the 2000 election that I thought was out of place, but other than that, the film is mostly an attempt to answer global warming skeptics in the media and political arenas.

I'm a guy who respects graphs, and when and when he showed those historical trends, even without the projections, I was floored. What really got me, though, was the difference between American auto emission standards (which are very low) and the rest of the world (which has much higher standards, generally). Don't American car companies sell to those international markets? Or at least, don't they want to? I don't understand their resistance to higher standards if it will make it easier for them to sell the same products here and overseas.

It's hard to walk away from that movie without deciding to take at least some action. Our first step is easy. The next air conditioner we get will be energy efficient (as much as air conditioners ever are, at least). While we're at it, we may as well get a programmable thermostat and take a few of the other simple measures they recommend to reduce our CO2 emissions.