On An Inconvenient Truth

I have recently finished reading An Inconvenient Truth – The Planetary Emergency Of Global Warming And What We Can Do About It – by Al Gore.

Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- “The fundamental outline of the climate crisis Story is much the same now as it was then. The relationship between human civilization and the Earth has been utterly transformed by a combination of factors, including the population explosion, the technological revolution, and a willingness to ignore the future consequences of our present actions. The underlying reality is that we are colliding with the planet’s ecological system, and its most vulnerable components are rumbling as a result…I have learned that, beyond death and taxes, there is at least one absolutely indisputable fact: Not only does human- in caused global warming exist, but it is also growing more and more dangerous, and at a pace that has now made it a planetary emergency.”

2- “But along with the danger we face from global warming, this crisis also brings unprecedented opportunities. What are the opportunities such a crisis also offers? They include not just few jobs and new profits, though there will be plenty of both, we can build clean engines, we can harness the Sun and the wind; we can stop wasting energy; we can use our planet’s plentiful coal resources without heating the planet. The procrastinators and deniers would have us believe this will be expensive. But in recent years, dozens of companies have cut emissions of heat-trapping gases while saving money. Some of the World’s largest companies are moving aggressively to capture the enormous economic opportunities offered by a clean energy future.”

3- “But I truly believe I was handed not just a second chance, but an obligation to pay attention to what matters and to do my part to protect and safeguard it, and to do whatever I can at this moment of danger to try to make sure that what is most precious about God’s beautiful Earth—its liveability for us, our children, future generations—doesn’t slip from our hands.”

4- “”he emerging consensus linking global warming to the increasingly destructive power of hurricanes has been based part on research showing a significant v; increase in the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes. A separate study predicts that global warming will increase the strength of the average hurricane a full half-step on the well known five-step scale…As water temperatures go up, wind velocity goes up, and so does storm moisture condensation.”

5- “Insurers base their rates—the amount you pay to protect your home against disaster—on their ability to calculate the risk of unexpected events. When extreme weather stops following predictable, historical patterns—as it appears is already happening—companies can no longer estimate risk accurately, which 1 turn makes it difficult to project what their losses will be. The only way to stay n business under these conditions would be to raise premiums for all insurance holders or to stop offering insurance in particularly risky areas, such as Florida and the Gulf coast, which already face increasingly devastating weather every summer. As one business leader put it, insurance companies face “a perfect storm of rising weather losses, rising global temperatures, and more Americans than ever living in harm’s way.””

6- “There are many complex causes of the famine and genocide, but a little discussed contributing factor is the disappearance of Lake Chad, formerly the sixth largest lake in the world, in a period of only the last 40 years. ”

7- “In all of my journeys, I have searched for a better understanding of the climate crisis—and in all of them I have found not only evidence of the danger we face globally, but an expectation everywhere that the United States will be the nation to lead the world to a safer, brighter future. And as a result, since every journey took me back home, I have returned each time with a deeper conviction that the solution to this crisis that I have traveled so far to understand must begin right here at home.”

8- “Losing something is one thing; forgetting what you’ve lost is something else again. Maybe I shouldn’t generalize from my personal experience, but I do believe that our civilization has come perilously close to forgetting what we’ve lost and it then forgetting that we’ve lost it. This is caused in part by never having the chance to commune with nature. That may sound like so much hippie pap, but I defy anyone to take in this country’s unspoiled treasures and not feel calmed, humbled, and rejuvenated by them. I believe that when God created us {and I do believe evolution was part of the process God used). He shaped us, breathed life and a soul into us, and then set us free  within nature, not separate from it, giving us intimate connections to all aspects of it. The relationship we have to the natural world is not a relationship between “us” and “it.” It is us, and we are of it. Our capacity for consciousness and abstract thought in no way separates us from nature. Our capacity for analysis sometimes leads us to an arrogant illusion; that we’re so special and unique that nature isn’t connected to us. But the fact is, we’re inextricably tied.”

9- “According to this way of thinking, if exploitation results in injury to the environment, so be it; nature will always heal itself, and no one should care. But what we do to nature we do to ourselves. The magnitude of environmental destruction is now on a scale few ever foresaw; the wounds no longer simply heal themselves. We have to act affirmatively to stop the harm.”

10- “But despite the negatives, there is something powerful and resilient we must never lose sight of: American constitutional democracy still has the potential to confer on the average citizen the dignity and majesty of self-governance. t is still, in Churchill’s well-known phrase, “the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.” When it works the way our founders intended, the very act of self-governing can produce m indescribable feeling of goodness and harmony that no cynic will ever be able to diminish.”

11- “The parable of the Aral Sea has a simple message: Mistakes in our dealings with Mother Nature can now have much larger, many of our new technologies confer upon us new power without automatically giving us new wisdom.”

12- “Our new technologies, combined with our new numbers have made us, collectively, a force of nature.”

13- “Now it is up to us to use our democracy and our God-given ability to reason with one another about our future and make moral choices to change the policies and behaviors that would, if continued, leave a degraded, diminished, and hostile planet for our children and grandchildren—and for humankind We must choose instead to make the 21 st century a time of renewal. By seizing the opportunity that is bound up in this crisis, we cam unleash the creativity innovation,and inspiration that are just as much a part of our human birthright as our vulnerability to greed and pettiness.The choice is ours. The responsibility is ours. The future is ours.”

Regards,

Omar Halabieh

An Inconvenient Truth

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