No action scenes, no swearing, no car crashing, no wicked-cool sound tracks or celebrity icons they would easily recognize. So, when they sat still, I was surprised. They knew who Al Gore was, they even "sorta remembered" when he was almost president. They were saddened by the plight of the polar bears and surprised by the peaks and valleys of the temperatures over history. They were amazed at how large the ice caps look on a map and how huge the chunks of ice are that are dropping into the sea at an alarming rate. But that's not what stuck with them.
A couple of months after the movie, what they most remember is the interactive graphic showing what will happen to our coastline as the ice caps melt. They debate on how Major League Baseball will restructure all of the teams on the coasts. Red Sox, Padres, Giants, Mets, Yankees, Nationals, Angels, Athletics, Devil Rays, Dodgers and maybe even the Braves would all be affected as the water level rises. WHEW - our Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs would be safe. But, that's still a lot of teams that would need to be moved all because of one thing.
Global warming. My boys don't think in terms of Almanacs and temperatures. They don't rationalize pollution from factories they don't work at or carbon emissions from cars they aren't yet allowed to drive. They think about global warming as it would affect them today. Players they idolize, rivalries they enjoy, the home team they love and other teams they proudly wore on their back during the last 8 seasons of Little League play.
Many people tell me they don't want to discuss the gloom and doom of global warming, war, poverty, hunger or economy with their kids. I don't want to scare them, they say, they have enough to worry about already. That's funny, I think, my kids aren't scared. Why, I wonder?
I believe it's because we DO discuss it, we talk about how we live on this planet, how everthing is interconnected, how we are taking the small steps to protect our planet and what will happen if we don't. We then talk about how the world will change as the temperature rises and the ice falls. No more baseball as we see it played today and what that will mean to my boys as they raise their sons and daughters to love the game that means childhood to them. Global warming is a tricky topic, especially for kids, but take time to talk to them about it. They do understand and they can relate - even if it's only about baseball.