Al Gore in Toronto

On October 14, 2011 we attended an inspiring lecture by America’s Al Gore. The time ended with his challenge to all of us to actively promote a new way of living – a way that we in the United Church of Canada say is, “living with respect in creation.” For me, a key word in that statement of faith is the word “IN”. To live with respect in creation means that we are a part of it; we are integrated with all of the earth and all of life on earth; and the earth is no longer an “object” to be used for our purposes.

Al Gore opened my eyes to one effect of warmer water on the hydrologic cycle. His presentation enumerated, with photos, the number of extreme floods that have occurred in the past year. These are the result of additional water vapour in the air. Warmer air can hold more water; warmer water leads to more evaporation. Warmer water also leads to an expansion of the water – thanks to Alanna Mitchell for teaching me this in her book, Sea Sick. This expansion of water can lead to seaside flooding; another detrimental effect of global warming.

All of these are caused by additional carbon dioxide in the air. Yes, carbon dioxide is naturally present, and the amount varies over time. HOWEVER, there is no doubt about the fact that industrialization and consumerism, lead by western capitalism, are contributors to unnecessary and excessive amounts of carbon dioxide being present. We can change that fact. Al Gore invites us to do so. Thank you Mr. Gore!

“If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?

And if I am only for myself, then what am I?

And if not now, when?”    Rabbi Hillel


Posted October 21, 2011 by allanbaker in Environment, Uncategorized

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