11th Hour

As I was just preparing to write this post, I literally thought, “the movie we watched yesterday was…” And then I realized that wasn’t yesterday. It was this morning. God, it’s been a long day.

Anyway, the movie we began to watch this morning, 11th Hour, seems pretty good so far. I know that the scientists in our class will be wary of the fact that not all of the statistics used by the people in the video were properly cited and that some of the people seem to have limited qualifications for talking about the environment, but, frankly, I don’t particularly care. Nothing they said in the video so far was that different from anything else I have heard in this course (in terms of statistics). So I am not going to worry about it.

They talked a little bit about the politicization of the “global-warming issue” which directly relates to my post about my conversation with my coworker. In fact, I remember one man in the video saying how he didn’t understand people who profess not to ‘believe’ in global warming, as if it is a religious issue (a point I tried to make in my earlier post). The movie also talked about the gap between the scientific community and the lay population on climate change, another issue I discussed earlier. I wish the movie would have answered my question, how do we convince the ‘non-believers’? Instead, the people in the movie seemed to be just as befuddled as myself.

One thing I liked about the movie was how it described people as a part of the environment. So often we think of the environment as ‘other,’ as separate from the human race, when indeed we could not exist without it. It is what allowed the possibility of life, engendered evolution, and sustains us to this day. Without the environment we would not, and never would have, existed. The environment is us. We are the environment.

I liked the one guy’s metaphor of ‘liquid sunlight’ (I think that was the term he used) as the fuel for the human race. Sunlight allows crops to grow which we then use for food or to grow livestock which we use for food. Sunlight, in one way or another, created the fossil fuels we use to power our cars and machinery. The sun keeps the Earth warm, enabling life to grow. In essence, everything we have done or are capable of is due to the sun. I thought that was an apt and poetic description of the human race. Perhaps one day, after the widespread implementation of solar energy panels, we will come full circle in our energy use and once again be completely fueled by sunlight.

That’s all for now,


P.S.- I was happy to see Wangari Maathai in the video. I did a long report on her for History Days in my junior year of high school. She is a fantastic lady doing incredible reforestation work in Kenya.


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