A viewer watches "An Inconvenient Truth" on Wednesday evening at First Congregational United Church of Christ. The documentary's star and narrator, Al Gore, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, spoke about the issue of global warming. The screening was offered to the public for free.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

A viewer watches "An Inconvenient Truth" on Wednesday evening at First Congregational United Church of Christ. The documentary's star and narrator, Al Gore, who recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, spoke about the issue of global warming. The screening was offered to the public for free.

Global, green and Gore

Church sponsors screening of 'An Inconvenient Truth'

— Freshly minted Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental activist Al Gore's "city by city, person by person" message about the effects and potential dangers of global warming reached a new audience Wednesday night in Craig.

The First Congregational United Church of Christ, in conjunction with the Interfaith Power and Light campaign, screened the former vice president's award-winning documentary, "An Inconvenient Truth," to a small crowd.

Although not all audience members were ready to embrace the global change Gore lobbies for in the film, the 94-minute documentary inspired thought and discussion.

"It's an eye opener," Craig resident Rich Self said.

"I think he has a lot of good points," Craig resident Helen Loyd said. "I think it's something we need to think about."

Wednesday night marked the second time Ted Crook, an electrician at Trapper Mine and chairman of the Moffat County Democratic Party, had seen the film. He said he attended the church's screening to revisit the documentary's content, which he believed the first time was scientifically accurate.

The second viewing did little to change his mind.

Crook has followed the topic of global warming since the 1970s, the same decade Gore held congressional hearings on environmental issues such as the reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses.

He said the movie offers a sobering message about the potential dangers of environmental instability caused by global warming.

"The ice core data is really, really solid," Crook said.

"I don't think it's a matter of belief. It's fact or not. : It just seems like we are having a lot of climatory problems. I think there is a lot of evidence for" global warming.

First Congregational Pastor Bob Woods, like Crook, said the importance of the global warming issue rises above the political divide it sometimes creates.

"It's not a matter of politics," Woods said. "It's a moral obligation we have to take care of the environment.

"It's our responsibility as Christians to be good stewards of the Earth. This is something that's very important. : I have a 2-year-old, and the congregation has children and grandchildren, and we're concerned they have a safe environment in the future."

Interfaith Power and Light is a San Francisco faith-based organization with a stated mission to "engage and support people of all faiths to respond to serious environmental challenges of energy consumption," according to literature handed out Wednesday night. It has 20 state affiliates, including Colorado.

It also encourages congregations to take a "green" approach, and conduct energy analysis and audits, and participate in high-performance building and design.

"Global warming is one of the biggest threats facing humanity today," the organization states in the literature. "The very existence of life - life that religious people are called to protect - is jeopardized by our continued dependency on fossil fuels for energy.

"Every mainstream religion has a mandate to care for creation. We were given natural resources to sustain us, but were also given the responsibility to act as good stewards and preserve life for future generations."

Ideally, Woods said, the movie's screening would raise awareness and promote small changes residents could make in their everyday lives.

"We'll see where it goes," the pastor said. "I hope it starts some consciousness and some movement in a positive direction in the community."

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