Gore speaks truth; it’s time to listen

by Angela Bacca, staff writer

OCTOBER 18, 2007 1:40 PM

As the water supply dries up in Georgia, the snow falls early in the Rockies, and California gets burned up in a succession of wildfires the Bush Administration continues to pretend that the clear and present danger of climate change is unfounded and nonexistent. Meanwhile, I am still trying to figure out what was so clear and present about the Iraq threat that elicited such quick and not-so-efficient reaction.I would like to see some of the legislative enthusiasm that didn’t hesitate to throw us into war do something useful for once, like save the whole world.

Al Gore winning the Nobel Prize is exciting, if for nothing more than the immediate reaction it caused. Within days I noticed a swift change in national news: a focus on “green” campaigning. From TV ads to magazine articles, the rest of America is starting to get it.

It has become the duty of the people, and our celebrity leaders, to respond where our government does not. Even Sean Penn beat the feds to Katrina.

As much as we would like to preserve the post-WWII capitalist paradise we have created ourselves–the world of Wal-Marts, bulldozers, McDonald’s, SUV’s, and overzealous meat consumption–we simply cannot. The only thing “we the people” seem to be unable to do is convince our elected officials to step in.

Amidst the green flurry infesting the masses, advertisers are getting more creative to maintain profits on some of their most wasteful products.

Jack in the Box has billboards off of Interstate 80 that read “Vegetariano? Lastima!” (“Vegetarian? What a pity!”) next to a picture of a burger topped with about ten layers of meat. Jack in the Box is targeting low-income Mexican immigrants and it is despicable.

The dairy and meat industry in the United States not only pumps cows full of harmful antibiotics and hormones (which may be connected to the bevy of gastroenterological conditions unique to first-world countries) but they are one of the worst contributors to global warming. Our insatiable and unnaturally frequent appetite for blood is no longer sustainable in our world.

Meanwhile, Atlanta, another Southern low-income metro area with a large black population, is drying up. Lake Lanier, the water supply for most of northern Georgia, is at dangerously low levels. The US Army Corps of Engineers have been controlling the flows of the Chattahoochee and other rivers feeding the lake to supply the US Army’s West Point, in Mississippi. As the drought gets worse for the Atlanta area, the Army still isn’t reducing the amount of water they are taking out of Georgia.

The people of Atlanta are going to fall to the wayside as our administration continues to wait for factual evidence on global warming.

The Nobel Laureates are trying to send us a message, and they are doing it the only way we Americans will understand it. Acknowledging Al Gore as an important global figure forces Americans into acknowledging global warming as a clear and present danger. The next step is convincing our government of the same.

If individuals really step it up to do their part, including educating ourselves to our government’s actions, we will find that we do have the power to affect global change.

» E-mail Angela Bacca @ abacca@sfsu.edu

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