Posted by: UrbanGreenGirl | December 26, 2008

Global Warming for dummies

An Inconvenient Truth - Al Gore

I am almost ashamed to mention it but I finally just got around to watching An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore. I partly didn’t rent it in the past because I was skeptical of this politician who suddenly became an environmentalist, looking for a new way to get elected.  Boy was I wrong!

This film inspired me so much that I jumped out of my warm bed, turned on my computer and started writing this post to encourage everyone to see this film.  It is what I call Global Warming for dummies. He made it terribly easy to understand the science behind carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas emissions, why we should care about glaciers melting and and the effects it is having on us with the increase in floods, droughts and tornadoes.

We all have heard about global warming but it is still an issue highly debated amongst scientists, politicians and media. Although this film was criticised and it’s “facts” were questioned, no one can deny the effects our existence is having on climate change.

So why should we care about polar ice caps and glaciers melting? Well, if I remember correctly, they reflect heat from the sun that would otherwise be absorbed into the earth’s atmosphere. In other words, they are necessary to keeps the earth’s temperature cool. However, as the glaciers melt, more of the suns rays get absorbed into the water, thus melting the glaciers, resulting in an increase in the planet’s temperature.

According to Gore, he claims global sea levels could rise by more than 20 feet (6 meters) with the loss of shelf ice in Greenland and Antarctica, devastating coastal areas worldwide. This would have devastating effects on some of the biggest sea-level cities in the world including Manhattan, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Bangladesh, southern Florida and Amsterdam, displacing as many as 100 million people.

Athabasca Glacier, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Alberta, Canada

I first saw the effects of global warming this summer when travelling through the Canadian Rockies. In between Banff and Jasper, we visited the Athabasca Glacier, which is fed by the Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield south of the Arctic circle.

When hiking up to the top, there were these signs indicating where the glacier once was, demonstrating how much of it had receded. It was astounding!  The shrinking glacier is already having devastating effects on nearby communities though shortages in drinking water. With so much of it shrinking in the past 30 years, the government is already worrying about how they will cope with the loss of water.

Athabasca Glacier are receding

Athabasca Glacier is receding at an alarming rate

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Responses

  1. Actually, there is a Global Warming For Dummies, written by Elizabeth May (leader of the Green Party) and Zoe Caron. You can check it out at http://ca.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470840986.html

    • Wonderful to know. Elizabeth is great!

  2. […] who were, in some way, green. Whether it was the guy who told me he once donated to PETA, who loved An Inconvenient Truth, who refused to buy farmed salmon or who made energy efficiency a bigger priority than […]


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