Nature and loss are two of life’s wisest teachers and unifying forces. They remind us that despite our many differences, we are bonded by our shared planet and the collective experience of loss. I was reminded of the importance of caring for our planet today by Al Gore in his latest film, An Inconvenient Sequel, a movie that so tenderly captures both nature and loss.
The film opens on a melting glacier. I felt strangely transported by that image to the time I spent with my father in his last days, a similar raw and guttural hurt of watching something beautiful disappear at an alarming rate right before my eyes. In those two vastly different yet strikingly similar diminishings, I saw the fragility one sees in witnessing something dramatically change in a way that both terrifies and astonishes simultaneously.
The environmental issues threatening our planet unite us in the same way that death and nature do. We are all experiencing both nature and loss in varying degrees. We are all affected by the environment around us and the heart wrenching loss of people we love. Just as I have been in awe of the outpouring of love and support in this time of loss floating on an ocean of sadness, I felt inspired by Al Gore’s efforts to gather a support team for the planet.
Environmental issues are often incorrectly classified as political issues. Whether you are an Al Gore fan or not, I encourage you to go see An Inconvenient Sequel. To see the glaciers melt, city streets flood, rice fields in Vietnam scorched from drought, the red hot flames of forest fires in the film so aptly capture the tenderness of our nature in peril. I felt moved to action for the first time in weeks, in a time when I have felt paralyzed by grief.
In An Inconvenient Sequel, Gore charts the wild weather and trends, clearly illustrating what is happening on our earth and what we can do to make a difference. At the end of the film Gore asks for the viewers to join the climate reality project. Only together can we protect our planet. I was most struck by the call to action at the end, asking viewers to fight like our lives and our world depend upon us. Because they do.
Those three last words reminded me of the root of my job in the outdoor industry - to help create optimal experiences outside that make people want to protect the trees and rocks they climbed, the snowy peaks they skied, the mountains they summited, the oceans they paddled. When my dad died I felt uprooted. Gore’s film helped reroot me in my purpose to be a part of the change in big and small ways from getting TB&C involved in local environmental issues to picking up the carelessly discarded chip bag and granola bar wrappers on the trail.
The film did not leave me in despair but uplifted me to connect on a deeper level with those around me, sharing in this collective experience called life on our planet orbiting in outer space. Watching people from all over the world join together to learn how to fight for the planet as a united front filled me with hope; hope for connections and effective teamwork. We must join together on our common ground as the first step to recognizing the fragility of humanity and the care our planet demands. The film vividly and visually shows the loss of lives due to severe weather caused by climate change and in that Gore shows the shared vulnerability we all have in the face of mother nature.
In the wake of my father’s death, I feel more vulnerable than I have in my life. And before today I felt alone in that vulnerability. However, after watching Gore’s film, I felt the intrinsic bond with people all over the world who love the earth and love their families; all of us caught up in the storms and the beauty and the devastation and the great joys that nature brings.
Bring in your movie stub from An Inconvenient Sequel and receive 10% off one item of your choice.