Green is the New Crimson

Seven years ago, I was about to turn ten. And just then, a movie was released. What movies do ten year olds usually yearn for, one can ask, and my answer differed a lot from the norm. A month or two after the release, when it had been moved from the expensive "New DVD" section to the regular shelf, I went to the local movie rental with my similarly precocious friend and paid for it with my money straight from my own pocket. Yes, we rented the movie An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore, and we swallowed it hook, line and sinker. To us, all what he said was true, no doubt about it. The manicured statistics and carefully picked quotes were our bible, and any opponent was our enemy. We made a PowerPoint, hoping the governments of the world would listen to two little kids, and get blown away by the amazing slides composed by copied stats and paragraphs in bad English.

We'd sit on the swings during break, and dream about the day we'd get a letter with Stars and Stripes-stamps, addressed from Al Gore (the UN was second best). We wished, and talked, and hoped, but knew it wasn't going to happen. This was never said out loud though, of course, since our punch line was "Believe and Make A Difference", or something equally embarrassing. It would take me years to get over this phase, that I in hindsight would describe as extremely obnoxious but greatly amusing to other people. 

And then, today, seven years after my sponge-state and obsession with saving the world, half of my dream came true. I have not saved the world, yet, but now I've met the role model of my ten-year-old self, and heard him say what I so passionately would talk about when sitting on the school's swings after lunch. 

It is eye-opening how much I have changed since (and lucky is that!). Nonetheless, it is also a little sad. The obliviousness of children is charming, and the commitment to what they believe in is so pure. Like with fairies in Peter Pan, who only have room for one feeling at a time, children don’t have multiple areas of interest in the same way as teenagers and adults. That is what I can say and admire myself for when looking back. 

What I have been told today doesn't slip through as before, which makes my experience widely different from what it would have been. It was still an incredible night that I am so happy I got to experience. Al Gore talks about the global change with a fire that puts a face to passion. He found the energy of a child again, and that is what I respect him the most for after this speech. Even though I can’t agree with everything he said, and question some of the statements, I bow deeply for his incredible skill of speech, persuasion, and serious wittiness.

Obviously, he must have done something right since my interest in environmental change now is fully awake again. I am happy he didn't make it a campaign about himself (even though the first half hour was like a funeral speech about Paul Epstein). He planted seeds about sustainable capitalism, hacked democracy, the usage of economy to save the world and books titled The Future. I would love to see the face of Ms. Boyce when I defend my low math score with “I am sorry, I was up all night thinking about climate change”. 

    Lee Carlton 2708 days ago

    I've never heard of a ten year old with an adoration for Al Gore before, Maya. That might be a first ;) I'm glad you enjoyed the event.