A convenient plug

Last night’s Academy Awards presentation was generally pretty boring, save for a fun musical number early on featuring Jack Black and Will Ferrell about the plight of the comedy star.  I was basically just rooting for the movies I’d seen, which were few among the many nominees.  The Prestige and Little Miss Sunshine were probably my favorite movies of last year, and each had a couple of nominations.

The latter was nominated for a handful of the major awards, including original screenplay (which it won) and picture (which it didn’t win).  Predictably, Abigail Breslin lost her supporting actress award for Sunshine, but Alan Arkin walked away witht the supporting actor award for his portrayal of the drugged-out grandfather.  Honestly, I don’t know why Paul Dano and Steve Carell didn’t get the nomination over Arkin, but I won’t complain.  It was a superbly cast movie, and it was executed incredibly well.

In other more important Oscar news, An Inconvenient Truth won the awards for best documentary feature and best original song (by Melissa Etheridge).  Al Gore was on stage multiple times and told a handful of different (and legitimately funny, or at least endearing) jokes.  Ellen DeGeneres got things rolling with him by throwing in a joke about how America actually did vote for him in 2000.  That got a good laugh and set things up for Gore later in the show.

Quite a few of the actors on hand lent their support to Gore, who explained during the show that this was the first “green” Academy Awards show.  When An Inconvenient Truth won the documentary award, it allowed Gore the chance to plea yet again for the public to take heed to his message and start cleaning up the mess we’re leaving on this planet.

Hopefully I don’t really need to make Gore’s case here.  He did it exceptionally well in the movie, and though the right has managed to make this a polarizing political issue (what else is new?), I think most sane people realize that there’s a problem and that something must be done to fight it.  Remarkably, Hollywood served as the voice of sanity last night in universally praising Gore for his inspiring works.

Global warming, as Gore put it last night, is not a political issue.  It is a moral issue.  It’s an important issue for Christians to address, just as it is for every other religious group.  The earth is unquestionably deteriorating around us.  While big oil-funded junk scientists continue to cast their doubts on global warming science, a vast majority of legitimate scientists agree that the earth is warming, and most of them agree that man is at least partially to blame.

If you want to help, here’s a small sample of what you can do.

If you’re not in the habit of reducing your carbon emissions, there are a lot of things you can do to help reverse the potentially catastrophic effects of global warming.  Start thinking about buying a hybrid for your next car, and walk or ride a bike where you can.  Replace your old incandescent light bulbs with new ones that are more energy efficient (this will save you money, too).

Recycling now involves much more than paper and plastic.  Motor oil, ink cartridges, and a number of other things can be recycled in most areas now.  Support the recycling process by buying products made with recycled materials.  You can learn a lot about which companies are more earth-friendly than others, and I would encourage people to support companies that are.

Vote for leaders who are environmentally aware and consider this an important problem to solve.  It’s not necessarily a Republican or Democratic issue, so do your homework on political candidates.  Become familiar with terms like “Kyoto Protocol” and “renewable energy.”  If you haven’t seen it, buy or rent An Inconvenient Truth.  As Melissa and I found out when we went to see it, it’s not an exciting Friday night movie, but it’s worth two hours or so of your time.  You can learn a lot more at the movie’s website.

The point of An Inconvenient Truth was basically to raise the public’s awareness to this not-so-new problem.  We are incredibly fortunate to have a leader in this country who has both a large audience for anything he says and a passion for this important issue.  Al Gore almost managed to overshadow the awards themselves last night, and that wasn’t a bad thing at all.  Hollywood managed to get something right, and now it’s time for the rest of us to follow suit.

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