This semester, I’ve shown the films, “Who Killed the Electric Car?” (trailer above) and “An Inconvenient Truth” (good curriculum materials on that site too) to several sections of my basic writing classes. Shockingly while Generation Y cares about the environment and wants to take better measures than their predecessors did to protect it, most of them haven’t seen Al Gore’s film, which is essentially an encouraging primer on global warming and its effects.
I’ve had fun asking these twenty-somethings to research where the U.S. currently stands on the Kyoto Treaty, what the fuss is over a few melting ice caps, who gets to define “moral imperatives” and how, what the difference is between “fact” and “hyperbole” and how one can feed the other, what each individual can do to lessen their carbon output, how Halliburton and the industrial rebuilding of Iraq and New Orleans are related to big government & Mr. Cheney, among other things.
I’m learning a few things along the way as well. I keep running into the ways in which scientists and evangelicals are overcoming their differences in favor of a higher calling.
I find that solar research is expanding at a wonderful rate with new applications, thanks to folks like Stan Oshinsky. That grassroots movements to correct these “gradual”, now accelerating, planetary changes are picking up steam; check out Plug In America, Care2, and Sierra Club.
Fresh water is taken for granted at the moment, but too soon, we’ll buy it by the gallon, watching the prices go up, like gasoline right now.
There are so many more things to educate one’s self about and respond to. If anyone would like to contribute to my pursuit, I have a few more dvds I’d like to acquire for my classes and for my own benefit. I probably expose 60 – 80 students per semester to this info. Please view my Amazon Wishlist here if you’d like to help out [my mailing address is here]. Otherwise, I’d simply recommend sharing the films mentioned above with as many folks as you can, get into heated debates, and generally ask yourself and others, especially those planning to have children, “Just what would Jesus drive?”
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Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.