And another reason not to watch Al Gore's movie

Location Middle seat in the row of jumbo Boston -> London | Mood Relaxing into solitude | Date 21 June 2006
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
Middle seat in the row of jumbo Boston -> London
Relaxing into solitude
Brother's CDs copied onto laptop
21 June 2006
Current silver lining: 
8 days to go

Seems hard to imagine right at this minute, writing on a jumbo over the Atlantic, but I genuinely intend never to fly again once I've finished Crude. (At least: to only fly within non-damaging carbon emissions, so about one big flight every five years or so). So this is highly likely the last time I'll see my brother's family in Boston. Well, not the family - they'll be visiting England - but their house and their life. (Having said that, we plan to come back for more Al filming later in the summer, so may get one more chance.)

Am continuing my campaign to get them to relocate completely, but Sis-In-Law's family is in the States, so there's no perfect solution. Shame, cos I reckon that if my two nieces were living nearby, I could look after them several days a week, discharge any maternal instincts, train them up as eco-warriors - and not introduce any more carbon guzzlers onto the planet just cos my hormones urge me to.

New, maybe obvious, theory: the amount you consume depends on the country/society you're in, not yourself. Like it's normal in the suburbs of Boston to wear clean clothes every day - sometimes even two or three changes. After a few days I start feeling slightly conspicuous and their big washer and dryer is downstairs, so easy to use, no bother with pegs and clotheslines....

Which I think bodes well that, once laws are imposed rationing carbon, there won't be a problem with the citizens adapting. (Of course they'll grumble, but hey).

My Sis-In-Law was coming up with all sorts of logistical reasons why she couldn't come to Al Gore's new climate change movie with me and my Bro a few days back. She didn't realise she was dealing with a doc producer (so get a babysitter, so get two babysitters, so we go at a different time, so we go in two shifts), till she finally cracked and said she just didn't want to. She understands the concept of climate change, she appreciates how serious it is, but she already feels paralysed with [what's that word for not being able
to do anything??]. The last thing she needs is to see her children's awful future mapped out at the movies.

Suspect this may be a very common position.

Can't fault the logic, but tried to say that I used to feel the same - put off starting Crude for a year - and the only thing that helped is actually tackling the problem head on (in my case, making a film). Once you face the enormity - and know you're working to solve it, even in the face of overwhelming odds - you feel better. It was exactly the same fighting McDonald's.

But with that one, we won. Hey, there's an uplifting story, someone should make a film.

So my Bro and I went to see An Inconvenient Truth. Alarming in parts, a bit mawkish for my taste, but really good, even if it's essentially the same info that BBC docs were telling us in the early '90s. Terrifying that Americans are only now beginning to get it - better late than never of course and at least they're embracing it. The film was the highest grossing in the US last week.

Funny too to see my past adventures up on the screen - Mark High Tide gave Al (hey, listen to me) some of his slides from our trips to Alaska and Tuvalu.

On the way back (in one of their two SUVs) I asked my Bro, the original Smiths fan, which song he thought would be perfect for the opening scene of Crude and he immediately launched into "If a double decker bus...."

He also came up with the fourth meaning:
First: (at start of film) the majority of our species' unquestioning belief that over-consumption can last forever.
Second: (at end) That, even once we've destroyed everything else, there is still a light inside any remaining humans.
Thirdly: (at start?) All the lights that all the individuals can't be bothered to turn off as they leave the kitchen.
And the fourth: the Nigerian gas flares that never go out.

But the best line of the five days was from my niece Zoe, aged 4. "Does your Auntie Franny have kids?", said mother of Zoe's friend. "She IS a kid", replied Zoe.