May 25, 2007

Al Gore's The Assault on Reason


On Wednesday I was part of the audience listening to Al Gore talk about his new book, The Assault on Reason. It was a terrific evening and I was thrilled to be there. What Al Gore is talking about is an incredibly important subject, namely, how do we humans actually start to make wise and rational decisions in face of the coming problems we face this century. This is a topic that I've found myself obsessing on for years now.

What exactly allowed the country to get so derailed that we found ourselves in an ill-considered war precisely when we should be directing our time and energy on solving how we humans can prevent the worst catastrophic event that is looming in our future? How are we going to deal with global warming when disasters strike and large numbers of humanity are uprooted from their homes from the rising sea levels? How do we compensate for the loss of potable water that all human civilizations need to grow their food, quench our thirst and wash our dishes, our hands and our clothes? How do we move into a post petroleum world where all the assumptions of easy travel are turned on their head? Who controls the water, the energy, the food, the migrations of people looking to escape the almost certain death that is beginning to claim their lands? If we thought the wars and inhumanity of the 20th Century were bad, we are failing to understand what will be coming will make those times look simple. And worse, in the United States, we seem to be frozen in amber where nothing of consequence can be discussed because the ruling elite is fiddling while Rome burns.

I have many notes from that incredible lecture in the Veterans Memorial Hall in Marin and I hope to do some justice to the ideas and the opportunities that Gore discussed soon.

But I do want to say that it is daunting that when we have such a serious discussion starting (and it should have started years ago!), many in the media continue to show just how broken it is in facilitating this important topic. As I said yesterday, Slate's Jack Shafer looks at Al Gore's book and decides that Gore is blowing smoke and needs to be put down as a shameless huckster who can't stop bothering the kool guys with his blathering. Shafer's way showing his kool kid strips opines that Thomas Friedman would be a better president than Al Gore.

Then we have MoDo who has spent a decade or more of trying to put that boring old Al Gore in his place. Her complaint? He just gives her the cooties.

National Review's Stephen Spruiell says that Al reminds him of Newt Gingrich and how the pundits are just waiting for Gore to get in the race so they can destroy him.

Does our country need a very serious conversation about what's wrong with our society and our government? Yes, and Al Gore has kicked it off with an incredibly important book that can help us -- all of us, and not just the Washington elite -- begin that conversation. That is, if he can break through the disdain of the pundtry who seem only capable of throwing stones and complaining because Al's getting all the attention again. Thank goodness for the internet which by the way, Al Gore knew an important technology to nurture long before the rest of those kool kids.

Posted by Mary at May 25, 2007 02:47 PM | Philosophy | Technorati links |

McCain is a pervert

Posted by: ccoaler at May 25, 2007 03:43 PM

If the conversation takes more time than a You Tube video, no one is listening. To bad, it is important to the coming generations even if they don't get it.

Posted by: jo6pac at May 25, 2007 05:33 PM

I too was in the audience and it was a very inspirational evening. Not your average book event...

Nice to have been directed to your blog by Google on my "Al Gore" alert. I will bookmark it.


Al Gore will be elected President in 2008, not because he is running... But because he is LEADING!

Posted by: Dallas112263 at May 28, 2007 04:19 PM