No, not the real candidates running for President and busily-side stepping climage change questions. I'm talking about the movie with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening in which Douglas stars as a widowed American president and Bening as an environmental lobbyist who fall in love. Didn't you just love this movie!
Last night, my husband was watching The American President on television (a point of contention) while I was cleaning up the kitchen. For those of you who haven't seen the movie or don't remember it, Douglas and Bening fall in love and the bill that she is lobbying to bring through Congress becomes an issue. At the very end, the President shoves politics aside and decides to do the right thing. (Note: this never ever ever happens in real life but occurs quite frequently on the screen.) The President decides to send Bening's environmental bill (a 20% mandatory emissions cut) to Congress and touts it as the most aggressive piece of legislation to deal with global warming to date. Pause! Quickly, Mr. Green Bean clicks the info button on tivo. When was this movie made?
That's right folks, twelve years ago. Okay, I know that climate change has been an issue for much longer than that but my point is that global warming has been enough at the forefront of our collective consciousness that it was the ultimate "do the right thing" for the hero in a popular romantic comedy over a decade ago. Yet, here we stand today - at the 11th Hour still waiting for emissions cuts to be made, for more public transportation systems to be put in place or improved, for cars with better gas mileage. The leaders have clearly let us down. Unlike in the movies, they can't set politics aside to do the right thing. But we must. The planet is leaving us no choice.