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by Nicole Loschke, staff writer

 

Directed by Davis Guggenheim, the film features Gore as the “former next president of the United States.” Produced by a number of influential people, this movie is bound to shock and awe audiences.

For years Gore has traveled to colleges, universities, and other institutions giving his now-famous power point presentations on global warming. An Inconvenient Truth is the long version, dramatically addressing the apparent causes and effects of global warming as well as the problems associated with it, and the solutions.

The movie argues that global warming is caused by an excessive amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Because today’s industrial output and transportation industries rely on fossil fuel combustion, these gases have been produced in quantities too large for our atmosphere and biosphere to dissipate them, and in an almost geometrical way, they have become harmful to the whole earth.

According to the film, the harmful effects can be seen through, but aren’t limited to, the increasing number and intensity of hurricanes, increasing temperatures, melting ice caps and arctic tundra, and rising sea levels.

Living in Hawai‘i, with fewer cars than the mainland, fewer industrial plants, and no ice caps, doesn’t mean that we are unaffected. In fact, according to a national report released by U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), Hawai‘i’s carbon emissions significantly increased between the years of 1960 and 2001: 179 percent in about 40 years.

The potential damage from such a significant increase includes dying coral reefs, rising sea levels which contributes to disappearing beaches, and rising temperatures, here and globally.

Jan TenBruggencate, science writer for The Honolulu Advertiser commented: “One of the key chunks of ice is the Greenland ice sheet, which is far enough south that it will be significantly melted if the temperatures continue to climb. Various estimates suggest water could rise from a couple of inches to 10 or so in the next century. At peak high tide, that could possibly put Waikiki’s streets under water.”

Ku‘ulei Funn, an HPU senior majoring in Communication, commented, after seeing the movie that “Rising sea levels is scary. Most of Honolulu is sea level.”

If the increasing trend in greenhouse gas pollution is not stopped, or at least slowed down, the effects, both globally and in Hawai‘i could be devastating.

 

REPUBLICANS REACT

President Bush reacted to Gore’s environmental stands. According to The New Yorker Magazine, in 1992 George H.W. Bush commented about Gore: “This guy is so far out in the environmental extreme, we’ll be up to our necks in owls and outta work for every American.”

More recently President George W. Bush commented that Gore “likes electric cars. He just doesn’t like making electricity.”

Even though some are skeptical about Gore’s arguments, perhaps it is a misunderstanding. For example, according The New Yorker, President George W. Bush demanded that Gore explain what he meant about some of the material in his 1992 book, Earth in the Balance. Then Bush admitted he had never read the book.

 

HOW TO HELP

· Watch An Inconvenient Truth
· Educate yourself
· Call or e-mail your representatives to support bills that work towards correcting this problem:
· Support the Waxman Bill: Calls for greater reliance on clean, renewable energy sources, while providing companies flexibility in meeting the pollution-reduction goals. It also requires U.S. to reduce its global warming pollution by 15 percent from today’s levels by 2020 and by 80 percent by 2050.
· Support the Safe Climate Act: Calls to freeze greenhouse gas emissions in the United States at 2009 emission levels by 2010.
Beginning in 2011, it would reduce emissions by approximately 2 percent each year. After 2020 emissions would be reduced 5 percent per year. By 2050 emissions would be 80 percent lower than 1990.
· Support the Energy For Our Future Act: Calls for fuel efficiency standards to be raised to 40 mpg. by 2016.
· Use public transportation
· Donate to environmental groups: U.S. PIRG, Environmental Action, Sierra Club

 

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