December 07, 2006

Al Gore on Oprah

Al Gore continues to take his message about global warming to the people. On Monday he appeared on Oprah to talk with her about the problem and what people could do to reduce their carbon output.

Now that the DVD of An Inconvenient Truth is available, lots more people are getting an introduction to Al's fine work.

Somewhere in my internet wanderings today I heard someone discuss Al Gore's Rolling Stone interview. It was one I'd missed when it first came out, but well worth mentioning now.

At the end of the movie, you make it sound like it's not going to be that hard to stop global warming -- we'll just change our lifestyles and turn this thing around. But isn't that too optimistic? The scientist James Lovelock says that by the end of this century, most of the Earth will be uninhabitable -- the planet's population will plummet by eighty percent.

Lovelock is truly a visionary. But I disagree with his darker view. He's forgotten more about science than I'll ever learn -- but I think I know one thing about politics that he doesn't. Sometimes, the political system is like the climate system, in that it's nonlinear. It can seem to change at a snail's pace and then suddenly cross a tipping point beyond which it shifts into a shockingly fast gear. All of a sudden, change that everybody thought was impossible becomes matter of fact.


OK, say you're the guy making that call. What do you ask us to do -- trade in our cars and buy a hybrid?

Here's the essence of our problem: Right now, the political environment in the country does not support the range of solutions that have to be introduced. The maximum you can imagine coming out of the current political environment still falls woefully short of the minimum that will really solve the crisis. But that's just another way of saying we have to expand the limits of the possible. And that's the main reason that I made this movie -- because the path to a solution lies through changing the minds of the American people. Not just on the facts -- they're almost there on the facts -- but in the sense of urgency that's appropriate and necessary. Once that happens, then things that seem impossible now politically are going to be imperative. I believe there is a hunger in the country to be part of a larger vision that changes the way we relate to the environment and the economy. Right now we are borrowing huge amounts of money from China to buy huge amounts of oil from the most unstable region of the world, and to bring it here and burn it in ways that destroy the habitability of the planet. That is nuts! We have to change every aspect of that.

It's good to see that Al Gore is getting real face time in front of the America people and the media is not spending all their time trying to play gotcha on him. Do you think it might be because they've finally found him to be authentic enough?

Have I said lately that I'd really like to see Al Gore run for President? Well, that's one thing I just can't mention often enough. Al Gore for President in 2008!

Posted by Mary at December 7, 2006 09:24 PM | Environment | Technorati links |

well, as it happens, there is a fairly recent precedent:

Richard Nixon was able to run and win in 1968 after having lost (very narrowly) as a sitting VP in 1960. Hell there was even a war on, too...
Granted, I'd like to think the rest of the story wouldn't play out in quite the same way...

Posted by: wrog at December 8, 2006 01:18 AM

"What do you ask us to do -- trade in our cars and buy a hybrid?"

No - we will have to JUNK our old cars before replacing them with a hybrid. If we just trade them in then it will just be somone else doing the global warming.

Posted by: Ian at December 8, 2006 05:51 AM

Thanks Mary. I read almost everything I can find about Gore and his message. My wife and I have started discussing how to buy an old junker and convert it to an EV. also, we're looking for all kinds of ways to conserve. and ways to get Gore elected to lead us out of this place.

Posted by: gregg at December 8, 2006 07:37 AM

If he announces and actually appears to have a chance against Hillary, I imagine the press will turn on him again. Which isn't the same as me saying he shouldn't, any more than it's me saying we should all do what Chris Matthews and Gloria Borger, et al tell us to do...

Posted by: Jonathan V at December 8, 2006 08:18 PM