A month into my journey and my family began to think I was going crazy. I was behaving in ways that were most unusual for me. I was moody when I saw waste, upset when I saw excess, and generally down in the dumps.
I believe that this was because I knew something that they did not, and that was if humanity continues to spew CO2 and other GHG into the atmosphere, then catastrophic climate change was around the corner, if not already here. Sure, they had heard of the term “Climate Change”, but didn’t really understand the impact on themselves.
The Australian media was not helping at the time (November 2006), with limited coverage on the issue and only focusing on the extended drought which they kept reporting was the result of an unusual El Nino effect. I cannot remember at any time when the press mentioned the real reason for this prolonged event.
So, to get all of my family on the same page so to speak, I managed to borrow a copy of “An Inconvenient Truth” and I held a family meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to show the movie and then discuss it. All family members attended, and about 30 minutes in, I saw a familiar look upon some of their faces. It was the same look I noticed upon the people at the cinema where I saw it! Firstly disbelief, then shock and a sense of overwhelming. Kim was the most vocal during the film and was shocked to see the melting ice around the globe.
Once the movie was over, we had an intense discussion. Adam rightly argued that he felt powerless and that not everyone could afford a Hybrid car like me. Amy indirectly blamed my generation and those before me for creating the mess, and I felt guilty as charged. Megan and Ben understood, but didn’t say much.
Kim and the kids now knew about as much I did, and felt just as helpless as I did. The only action I had taken was to change about 20% of our incandescent light bulbs to compact fluoro lights and had bought a Hybrid car. A good start, but not good enough for me. At the time I just did not know what else I could do! A lot more research was needed before I did know what steps we could all take.
However all was not lost, and I am happy to report that the “Al Gore Effect” worked on my family as it did on me. There has only been action in the right direction ever since we saw the Academy award-winning documentary. Thanks Albert Gore for going out on a limb for the human race. You are a worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace prize!