Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Weather Makers & Sisterchicks Say Ooh La La!

Last night Jess and I watched Glory Road. Neither of us are basketball fans, but this is a terrific movie. The story of Don Haskins and his West Texas team is heartwarming and a definite must see. Haskins was the first coach in history to start five black players in a NCAA game, and it created a great deal of controversy and anger. The scenes about racism are so real, they are painful to watch. My heart ached in my chest. I've grown up in an area with very little diversity, so racism isn't something I've ever really seen. I know that I'm blessed for that, but it isn't something I want to turn my back on. The only way to overcome something is to face it. We're going to show the movie to our high school Sunday School class later this year. As Christians, racism is something we all need to face down.

The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery taught me a lot about the environment and how I can positively (or at least less negatively) effect it. However, it also made me mad as heck. I picked up this book hoping for a non-partisan look at the truth about what’s going on with the climate in our world. Environmental change has become such a political issue, I was hoping that this book would be written without the kind of vitriolic color that has become part and parcel of the discussion in books like Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. I just wanted to read a book without a political agenda. Flannery made me a little nervous with his brief mention of Gaia in the opening chapter, but he mentioned it as a theory and didn’t seem to espouse it himself, so I continued reading. He goes into detail about previous climate changes in our planet’s history, as well as the extinction in recent years of certain animals in the Southern Hemisphere. I continued reading, fascinated by Flannery’s detail and apparent love for the lost species. But about 240 pages into the book, Flannery dropped his fa├žade and allowed his true agenda to show through. His Bush and America bashing continued throughout the remainder of the book and colored everything before and after it for me. He even managed to blame the genocidal murders in the Sudan on Bush! He belabors the Kyoto Protocols, but doesn’t mention the reduction in methane gas bill that Bush got passed earlier this year. Of course Flannery can’t say enough nice things about Europe and how they are handling conservation issues, but Australia (his home country) comes off poorly in his estimation. I was disappointed because while he writes about possible changes to the climate of the earth in general, he never addresses how it will affect the population, other than to propose a global nation which will bring to heel countries that refuse to change their polluting ways (i.e., The US and Australia) and an international court where citizens can sue those same countries for destroying their way of life. I did learn some valuable information in this book: hydrogen power is not the way of the future, and ultimately we need to change our actions as individuals, and that is something I will do. But I’m very disappointed that this issue can’t seem to be addressed in a way that isn’t political.

Sisterchicks Say Ooh La La! By Robin Jones Gunn is another entry in the fabulous Sisterchicks series. I’ve really loved every book in this series, but this one really plucked at my heartstrings. Maybe it was that Lisa is a little sarcastic and cynical like me. Lisa and Amy promised each other in grade school that when they grew up, they would go to Paris together. When Amy’s grandmother passes away, they take the time for the trip and find that the road to the City of Lights is filled with bumps. There are a couple of laugh out loud moments in the book, but the strongest parts are about God and His love. Both Lisa and Amy need to face their fears to fully enjoy not only their trip but their lives as well.

I'm still trying to get back into my routine. Hopefully by the end of the week...