After an early June breakfast of scrambles and fruit at the Tower Café, we lined up at the Tower Theatre on Broadway for the first ever Sacramento showing of An Inconvenient Truth. That’s the movie about a slide show (you know the one) where Al Gore tell us more than we ever wanted to know about global warming.
SN&R had featured Gore on its cover the week before—an interview and story about the film written by contributor Ralph Brave—so I was anxious to see if An Inconvenient Truth was worthy of the hype it was receiving nationally and the attention we’d given it locally.
The movie was an attempt, in Gore’s words, “to move the United States past a tipping point on climate change.” I think it has helped do just that. As we move into the fall of 2006, it seems clear that instead of being aware of global warming as a bumper-sticker slogan (as city energy engineer Keith Roberts puts it), people have begun to think of climate change and the effects of runaway greenhouse-gas emissions as a clear and present danger—ones whose effects must be examined and adapted to.
In fact, it was during his reporting on the Gore story that Brave discovered some of what we are offering to readers in this week’s cover story. Among other things, he found that city engineers and planners already were discussing predicted effects; that SMUD and city transportation officials had begun to review emission scenarios; and that a group of Nevada City residents had begun, literally, to plan for the potential impact of thousands of Sacramento Valley refugees they believe might herd to their environs while fleeing soaring temperatures or floods.
Yes, it was clear we needed Brave to write a whole new cover story: “Hot futures.”
Two additional months of summer in the Sacramento Valley? Hugely diminished snowmelt in the Sierras? Folks, the next century is beginning to look awfully inconvenient. As Gore said, “We didn’t ask for it … but it’s here.”