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Environmental activism of Al Gore

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Al Gore, 2007
Al Gore, 2007

Al Gore is a United States politician and environmentalist. He is the former Vice President of the United States (1993–2001), the 2000 Democratic Party presidential nominee, and the co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has been involved with the environmental activist movement for a number of decades, and has had full participation since he left the vice-presidency in 2001.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Al Gore and Jaden Smith on the Next Generation of Climate Activism
  • ✪ Karenna Gore on Climate Change and Earth Activism
  • ✪ The Environmental Crisis: Al Gore on Ecology, Economic Opportunities & Education (1992)


[applause] -Jaden, thanks for all the work you're doing on the environment. It's very inspiring to me. -I really appreciate it and honestly without you I wouldn't be able to go out into the world with the information that you offer and talk to other young people about these problems and also talk to adults about these problems to help actually create solutions for the real world. I just want to say thank you to you. Leading into my first question-- -Okay. -[laughs] I want to hear it right. -Smooth segue. -Yes. [laughs] -You've been in show business a long time. -Yes. [laughs] In 2006 when the An Inconvenient Truth came out that really sparked I would say a rebellion in the world where we kind of started to wake up and grow and in so many ways inspiring so many different ideas. Now, in the state of the world that we are now dealing with the amount of problems that we have in the world and the amount of optimism that I hear from you when you're speaking why should we still be optimists in this time? What do we still have to be optimistic about in the environmental challenges that we all face? -Well, it's a great question and of course in the time of a great danger and we do have a global emergency. Some people hear that phrase and just say "Calm down. It can't be that bad." It is that bad. It's very urgent. Since the latest IPCC report Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this fantastic group of scientists around the world since their latest report it's ever clearer that this emergency is quite dire. Even since it came out there's another a new study showing that the oceans are heating up even more than we had previously thought. How can you find cause for optimism in those circumstances? Well, one simple answer is because we have the solutions now. 10-12 years ago when An Inconvenient Truth came out we could see the solutions on the horizon and respected analysts were predicting confidently that they would come down in cost pretty quickly. Now they have, and they're available. They're five times more jobs in solar here in the US than in coal already. [applause] The fastest growing [applause] [applause] 62% of the new electricity generation installed in the US last year was solar and wind. The fastest growing job in the US is a solar installer. Second fastest growing job is wind turbine technician. A lot of the new jobs that are being created in the economy now are coming as part of this sustainability revolution. I want to temper my optimism. I am genuinely optimistic because we have the solutions and because your generation so many of you are here are helping to awaken the rest of the folks as to how quickly we have to move. We also don't want to run the risk of being Pollyannish on this because still to this day 80% of all the energy we use in the global economy comes from burning fossil fuels. Taxpayers around the world are being forced by bad policies to subsidize fossil fuels at a rate 38 times more than the meager subsidies for solar and wind and renewals. We have to change policies. We have to change investment practices. We have to change so many things, agriculture the preservation of our forests, and reforestation. Sustainable agriculture is coming on strong, but not fast enough. We have to address the built-in environment to stop wasting so much energy. About a quarter of all the greenhouse gas emissions come from just inefficient buildings. That's another opportunity to create jobs in fixing the built-in environment. Of course, we have to speed up the transformation of the way we produce electricity. We have to shift over to electric vehicles. Diesel is the new coal and we have got to get rid of the internal combustion engine. We've got to shift completely away from burning fossil fuels and we have to do it quickly. The task in front of us is really a daunting one. We can't minimize how serious it is and how quickly we have to move. I'm optimistic simply because I do believe that we have the ability to match this rise in determination to bring change with the solutions that are already available. We don't need any new breakthroughs it'll be great if we get some new technology breakthroughs maybe fusion several years out. I don't know how many years out but what we have already. If you look at solar and wind particularly solar you know what a cost reduction curve is. We found out about it with computer chips a long time ago. You look at smartphones and flat-screen TVs they get cheaper every year with higher performance. That's happening with solar now to the point where it is now more economical to produce electricity from renewables. My final point on this about optimism and I often end my formal speeches with this phrase because I believe it deeply. Never forget that political will is itself a renewable resource. It's up to us to renew it and apply it to this global emergency and solve this crisis. [applause] to this global emergency and solve this crisis. [applause] -Wow, wow. Through this journey that you've been taking and through preaching and being able to express this information to the entire world, have you ever had a time that you felt defeated or that you just couldn't do anymore? If so, what was your lowest time? -[laughs] Well-- [laughter] You're too good at this, man. I would say that the election a couple of years ago was not necessarily a higher point. [applause] was not necessarily a higher point. was not necessarily a higher point. [laughter] I really believe very deeply that we are now in the early stages of a sustainability revolution that has the magnitude of the industrial revolution but the speed of the digital revolution. These new technology solutions are absolutely stunning. I think that the sustainability revolution and the climate movement should be seen in the context of other great moral revolutions like the civil rights movement in our country abolition long before that the women's suffrage movement and women's rights. Women's right, civil rights of course, we still have a long way to go but if you look at the accomplishments there and again, lesbian rights. If somebody had told me eight years ago that in the year 2018 gay marriage would be legal in all 50 US States and honored and celebrated by more than two-thirds of the American people I would have said- [applause] "-Wow, that's great." All of these great revolutions have followed a similar pattern. The advocates in every one of these movements have encountered setbacks they have struggled with despair at times they've had to fight their way through bleak times but because their course was just and because of who we are as human beings ultimately, when the underbrush is cleared away the central choice is revealed between what's right and what's wrong. That's the tipping point when hearts change and then minds change and then solutions are pushed with the vigor that's appropriate. I think that we're at that tipping point right now in the climate movement and I think it's unstoppable. I think we're going to solve it. [applause] -Something that's been very, very close to my heart since the first time that I watched the first documentary that you made is plastic. It's something that I think about-- and trash it's something that I think about a lot. We hear statistics floating around on Instagram like "Oh, in 2050, there's going to be more plastic in the ocean than fish." -By weight, yes. -You have people like Boyan Slat who are creating things to pull plastic out of the ocean. How do you feel about the trash epidemic and what's happening with plastic and how involved the youth is getting with these movements and getting behind "Let's get the plastic out of the ocean let's get the plastic out of the ocean." Sometimes it distracts people from CO2s and the rising of the temperatures globally being the real problem. How do you feel about people advocating for cleaning plastic out of the ocean? Do you have any ideas for ways that we can do this more efficiently? -Yes. Well, it's all connected. The efforts to remove plastic from the ocean are congruent with the efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and other other greenhouse gas emissions. It's part of the petrochemical industry that is producing both of these terrible afflictions. Most of the plastics come out of the mouths of the rivers and for all of the incredible volume in the oceans and you just gave that statistic that represents only 11% of the total plastic production around the world each year. We need to shift to what's called the circular economy with recyclable components. The good news is we can do that. We're seeing with the small initial steps like the banning of plastic straws and really innovative products like just water sharply reducing plastics and CO2 emissions that's how that revolution begins but it's all part of the same movement toward a sustainable world. Your generation is rightly and justly demanding a better world and companies that want to hire the best and brightest of the new generation need to hear you or they're not going to get the brightest and best young women and men coming to work for them. Entrepreneurs like you are starting brand new business models that have this commitment to sustainability at the core of it. We can win this, we will win this it's just a matter of how quickly we will win it and we don't have a lot of time to waste. It starts right now, and maybe at the summit LA will be where it goes over the tipping point. -I'm sorry that I'm asking so many rapid questions, I'm just-- -No, I'm going to have some questions for you too. -Wow, okay, wow. -Absolutely. What do you think is different about your generation? The polling and public opinion surveys clearly show that your generation has a significantly higher level of commitment and knowledge on sustainability and climate than the two generations that came before you? Why do you think that is? -I think that's something is really helping my generation being able to be aware about all of these different causes is the internet. I feel the Internet can be used positively and negatively and I feel like something that-- -Negatively? Do you have any evidence? I'm sorry, go ahead. [laughter] -Too much evidence but I feel like something that is very positive is short-form content on the Internet. 60 seconds of saying "Hey, here's what's going on this is being polluted, this is not okay this is happening, here's ocean statistics here's CO2 and other greenhouse gases statistics." It's something that the youth can just go flip on their phone, 60 seconds of learning "Boyan Slat is doing this, Al Gore is doing this Jos Water is doing this, Elon is doing this." I feel like it's almost a way for the youth to receive content in a way that they can digest it. It's like, "60 seconds of this idea 60 seconds of this idea 60 seconds of this idea." That's why I feel we have many young people who "I'm passionate about this but I'm also passionate about this and passionate about this." I feel as though it's the versatility of the exposure that they are getting from the Internet that is allowing them to be aware and to also be passionate about all of these different subjects. -Yes. I strongly agree with that. We've had an evolution in-- forgive the geeky term the information ecosystem of our democracy the main ways in which we share ideas. When America was founded the printing press was completely dominant. It had low entry barriers two-way flows of information kind of a meritocracy of ideas not always perfect by any means but it lifted the role of reason in public discussions. Then broadcast came in, first radio and then the big kahuna television and video in various delivery media is still dominant and that set up gatekeepers so that people and corporations with a lot of money that wanted to impose their will on the conversation of democracy were able to dominate that conversation and it wasn't two-way any more people would just sat back and absorbed all these commercial messages and content that was often twisted. I had great hopes when the Internet and social media came in that it would restore a democracy-friendly public square but the Internet has been hacked-- long before the Russians hacked it it was hacked by big money and our democracy has suffered. Whether it's a search engine or a social media site we have got to stop this stalker economy where they collect all the private data and build dossiers on everybody. [applause] and build dossiers on everybody. [applause] We have got to restore a sense of integrity and fairness and respect to the Internet because alongside the very positive manifestations you just talked about which are great there has also been a lot of downside. We have the ability to fix that. I don't want to dwell on this but I've long since come to the view that the solution to the climate crisis requires a solution to the democracy crisis and the solution to the democracy crisis means new vigorous efforts to create a virtual public square with social media that operates in favor of the meritocracy of ideas and facilitates the kind of learning experience and dialogue that you've described while protecting us against Russian bods and the alt-right groups that try to spread hate. We've got a big job there on our hands as well. Again, I think we are up to it but we count on your generation, Jaden. You know this stuff. [applause] -We're going to try not to let you down. -Okay. -We're definitely going to try not to let you down. I hear you talking about big money a lot. -Yes. -That always interests me. I have a question. Why do you feel like these major corporations do not make the switches just immediately when they here the news "Oh, something bad is happening and we could switch to fully solar or we could deploy robots to clean all of our plastic out of the ocean or we could make all of our fleet trucks these new Tesla model of trucks." Why do these major companies not just immediately make the switch for the better world? -The easy answer is that so many of them have business models that lead them to fear that if they switch away from what they know how to do and the assets they have in abundance like oil and coal and gas then their share prices are going to go down and their bonuses will go down and their business models will collapse. It's not that complicated but there are examples of companies that are trying to change. Just last week, the current administration proposed rolling back the clean air standards for cars and trucks. The largest manufacturer General Motors, Tesla they go back and forth now but General Motors said they were opposed to the administration's proposal and they came out for a shift on all electric vehicles which is great. [applause] Now, the market is beginning to express a preference for EVs just as it is for solar and wind electricity but the future additions each year that's great but the installed base is still a huge problem and how we switch away from the internal combustion engine and fossil fuel burning electricity and so forth that's a challenge. Now, here's another way to unpack the answer to your question. I want to draw an analogy to the subprime mortgage crisis. You might remember that you were pretty young when they-- you're pretty young now but when that happened 10 years ago the large banks and financial services groups they started seeing how they could make a ton of money by doing away with the credit cheques for people who wanted home mortgages and they gave millions of them to people who not only could not make a down payment they couldn't make the monthly payments and they became known as subprime mortgages. They fooled people and maybe fooled themselves a little bit by saying that if they just put millions of them together and attached to a phony insurance-like product to it and sold it off into the global market everything would be fine. The risk would magically disappear but then some people who were careful in analyzing this product said, "Wait a minute." They dug a little deeper and they said "These things are worthless." That's when the subprime mortgages collapsed in value. That created a credit crisis kind of a run on the banks and that's what caused the great recession which in turn has fueled this terrible move toward populist authoritarianism in the White House, in Russia in places as diverse as Hungary and the Philippines. Here's the analogy. We now have a subprime carbon asset crisis except it's much bigger. What I mean by that is we have $22 trillion worth of carbon assets like oil, gas, and coal that are already discovered already on the books of these major energy companies marked at a value that assumes that they're all going to be put to their intended use and burned but they're not going to be burned. Not only because there's going to be a new policy I'm hoping and expecting but also because of the sharp reduction in the cost of the competition because of the efficiency wave that's reducing demand for energy. They're not going to be burned. At some point and it's already started smart people are looking at the real value of these carbon assets and some are saying "Whoa, this is a crisis about to explode in the financial markets we better get rid of these carbon assets." The largest sovereign wealth fund in the world the Norwegian fund just announced that it's about to decide to get rid of 100% of all the oil and gas holdings in their fund and they were fund-- their money came 100% from oil and gas so they know what they're talking about. A lot of other investors are doing the same thing. When the psychology of the market shifts like that then it can also reach a tipping point where people say "Wait a minute we don't want to be the last ones holding on to these nearly worthless assets when they have a book value up here and their real value is down here." A lot of these companies are trying to hold off the light bulb going off in people's heads they're trying to hold off the recognition of the truth. That's why New York State and Massachusetts are suing Exxon Mobil and they just got the green light to go ahead do a trial on this because they have told their investors according to this allegation. They've given false information about the prospective value of these assets. The scenario I just described they've been hiding information that they have that would queue in investors to what the real situation is. When more and more people realize that we're going to get to a quick change where it's no longer competitive to get 80% of our energy from fossil fuels and burn petrol and diesel and gasoline in cars. Sooner the better. [applause] -Yes. Sooner the better for sure. I feel like a lot of people in my generation definitely have this question that they always constantly asking me and I don't know how to answer. It's that, let's say that every car in the world becomes an electric vehicle are all of our problems solved at that point? -No. That's a big chunk of it. First of all, we have to change the global energy system. That change has already begun it needs to be accelerated. As I mentioned earlier we have to get rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels that's keeping it in place. We have to change the transportation systems we have to move to electric cars, electric trucks electric scooters, electric trains that we're already seeing the electric vehicles that are on the road now are just amazing to drive. The cost again there is coming down very rapidly. In the next couple of years you're going to see the drive train the power train for these vehicles become much cheaper than those for internal combustion engine. That's part of why GM made their announcement last week. Then we have to take on agriculture because agriculture is very petroleum intensive and it operates too often now on a model that strips the carbon out of the soil with synthetic nitrogen fertilizer that's 90% natural gas. This is a deeper subject and we can go into it more if you want but we have to shift to organic regenerative agriculture it's better for farmers it's better for what we eat. Forest management we have to stop the destruction of forest land we have to do a better job of regrowing forests and not just cut down the trees for wood chips. That's absolutely insane and then they replant with monoculture that doesn't support biodiversity. We haven't mentioned the sixth great extinction now but the biologists say almost to a person that the most serious part of the climate crisis is that half of all the living species on earth are in danger of extinction in this century but forest management and wetlands management is a big part of it. Then something I mentioned earlier also, the built environment to make our buildings zero carbon and some countries are already starting to do that. By the way, it not only creates jobs in every community with the retrofit jobs, it leaves the owners and renters with lower utility bill. What's not to like? It's a win win win strategy. Why aren't we moving simultaneously on all five of these fronts? The answer comes back to something I mentioned ago those with these potentially stranded assets with business models that make them defend past practices and hope that they can continue them indefinitely they have used big money to hack our political system. A lot of the big fossil fuel companies say publicly that they're no longer giving money to climate deniers but with the other hand they're funneling money to opponents of these state referenda and local measures. In the state of Washington right now they have a historic proposal on the ballot Tuesday, to put a carbon fee in that's really well designed but the big oil companies are funneling money into misleading TV ads to try to fool people into voting against it. We need to have truth in lobbying. We need to call out these firms that are working against our future just because of pure greed and fear, fear that they won't be able to change fast enough. The future is ours. The future is your generation and if all of you will join with what Jaden and his colleagues are doing we're going to win this sooner rather than later. [applause] -You are such an inspiration to me to all of us in this room to all of my friends. I just want to say thank you so much because without what you have done everybody that is coming out with these new technologies right now and being aware of what's happening in the climate they owe so much of that information to you. I just want to say thank you and please, just give a round of applause for you. [applause] -You're nice to say that. Hold on, hold on, hold on. I want to spread that around because I get my inspiration from the millions of people at the grassroots level. You're one of them, my friend. There are millions of people who are out there organizing starting new businesses bringing the solutions that we need. There are a lot of other people besides me doing this and I appreciate your kind words but-- -Speaking of the other people that are out there making a difference and making a change I would love to talk about your professor for a second. You were telling all of us at the last event that I saw you at that your professor was the first person to measure CO2 in the atmosphere. -In the global atmosphere. -In the global atmosphere. How did that inspire you and how was that, growing up with a professor that was such an advocate? -Well, that made all the difference for me. His name was Roger Revelle. He was from here in Southern California. I went to school on the East Coast and I didn't even major in science but I had an opportunity to take an elective. I signed up for his course not really having much of any idea of what I was going to experience there. He designed the first experiment to measure CO2 in the global atmosphere. A Little bit of ancient history back in 1957 and '58, there was something called the International Geophysical Year. In the decade following World War II there was a lot of optimism and a lot of progress and this was part of it. That's when he designed this experiment. David Keeling was the one who implemented it for 50 years out on the Big Island of Hawaii. They would send up measuring instruments several times a day. Now they have them in multiple locations around the world. When I walked into this professor's class he shared with us the first few years of the CO2 increase in the atmosphere. That is still the foundation of modern climate scientists. All the great climate scientists really, that's where it really started. There were discoveries of the basic chemistry and physics before them but seeing that it was real and it was happening on a dramatic current basis That's what opened my eyes. He sketched out what this would mean. I kept in touch with my professor. When I graduated, went into the Army came back, got elected to Congress a few years after that and asked immediately what are we doing about global warming and crickets and so I helped organize the first congressional hearing on global warming back in the '70s and invited my professor to come and be the leadoff witness. I was so naive that I actually held the hope in my heart sitting up on the dice with the other members of Congress that when he spoke they would have the same epiphany from a 20-minute congressional statement that I had from a full college course and it didn't happen to say the least. That's really the first time that I asked myself the question how can this be communicated to others the way he communicated it to me in a way that would be accessible in a shorter period of time and produce in the minds and hearts of millions of people the same aha realization that he gave me. By the way, he died many years after that but on the 100th anniversary of his birth I went to a celebration of his life at the Scripps Institute in La Jolla. I really boned up to try to do justice to this great man. In the course of learning more about him I learned that when he had been my age I took his course when he was your age now he had been inspired by a great professor who had changed the course of his life. I thought to myself "Wow, how many chains of intergenerational inspiration are there going way, way back and how far in the future will they continue?" We've got to accelerate that process now. That's what the Climate Reality Project is all about, by the way. I do these regular training sessions around the world to get the facts about the crisis the solutions to the crisis communications skills how to persuade legislators and other policymakers to make changes. We have to gear this up. I started by giving you the reasons for my optimism, Jaden, and they're real. My optimism is premised on the assumption that this aha realization about the danger we're in and the fact that we do have the solutions that this will spread rapidly. Your generation is helping to lead the way. By the way, there is an election on Tuesday everybody who hasn't voted yet go out and vote on Tuesday. [applause] -Yes. I'm telling all my friends to go out and vote. I signed up for my ballot and I want to make sure that this generation really knows that they now have the power. It's a hard switch to go from being a teenager like oh, I'm 16 and 17 to being 18 turning 20 and realizing now I'm a young adult and I actually have a say. I need to express my opinions and how I feel about the world because if I don't then my side of the story may never be heard for the rest of history. -That's great. Let me ask you another question, Jaden. When you encounter somebody in your generation who is not in sync doesn't really get this and actually fights against it what strategies have you discovered are most effective in changing their minds? -Honestly, I try to scare them as bad as I can. Honestly, because the kids in my generation they're just like "I'm tough. I don't care. I'll be fine. I'm just going to skate for the rest of my life and I'm going to be fine." I'm just going to be like "Well, bro, if the skatepark floods you're going to have to learn how to surf." -[laughs] Let me add to that a little bit because I do put hope first and emphasize the hope and the solutions. I don't want to miss the opportunity to do what you just said works for you and that is to lay out how serious this is. We're using the sky as an open sewer The sky is different in reality, from the way it appears to us when we go outside this building and look up. From the ground it looks like a vast and limitless expanse but the pictures from the astronauts confirm what the scientists have long known. It's actually a very, very thin shell of atmosphere encasing and surrounding the planet. If you could drive a car at normal interstate highway speeds straight up in the air you'd get to the top of the sky in about 10 minutes. It's that thin. We are now spewing 110 million tons of manmade heat-trapping pollution into that thin space, every single day. A good portion of it will stay there for more than 1000 years. The cumulative amount that is up there now traps as much extra heat energy every day as would be released by 500,000 Hiroshima class atomic bombs exploding on the earth every 24 hours day in and day out. It's a big planet, but that's a lot of energy and more than 90% of it goes into the oceans. Now, the remaining 7% to 10%, heats up the air. Of course, the oceans heat up the air too. The fact that the oceans are warming so much that has consequences of its own. That's what makes these hurricanes and cyclones and typhoons so much stronger than they were in the past. They intensify so rapidly. They're moving north, by the way into the latitudes that cover Southern California. Not yet, but they're moving. We saw with Hurricane Harvey last year. How much water did that dump on Texas? If you think of Niagara Falls and imagine the full flow of Niagara Falls for 500 days that's how much water dumped on Texas and Louisiana in five days five feet of water in Houston, Texas. We've had eight once-in-a-1000-year events in the US in the last 12 months. Well, statistically that doesn't work out so well. The other thing that warming the oceans up heating the oceans this much also does is it disrupts the water cycle that's at the basis of life. We all learn in school that water evaporates off the ocean and comes over the land and falls as rain or snow and then works its way back to the sea. Well, we're putting on it a huge increased amount of water vapor off the oceans into the sky. We have these atmospheric rivers that come in this region across from the Pacific over the land. In the case of Texas, Louisiana, Florida off the Gulf of Mexico. These atmospheric rivers can be 30 times larger than the Mississippi so when storm conditions release the downpour the downpours are much, much bigger so the floods are much bigger and the mudslides are much worse. Same thing, by the way, with droughts because the extra heat evaporates the moisture out of the land so that right now in the southwestern part of the United States New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma we have a huge drought going on right now. Also in Central America. By the way, there are a lot of causes for the exodus of refugees looking for safe lives coming from Honduras and Guatemala, et cetera but the so-called dry carder that is impacted by global warming has meant they have gone for long periods of time two years in some cases without rain so they don't have a harvest. Same thing happened in Syria the worst drought in the history of the eastern Mediterranean. There were other causes for all of the migration from the eastern Mediterranean and Syria into Europe and the neighboring countries but they had the worst drought in history there, 2006 to 2010 definitely caused by the climate crisis. It's been studied very thoroughly and many peer-reviewed papers written about it. It killed 80% of their livestock 80% of their goats died 60% of their farms were destroyed. All these refugees were driven into the cities and WikiLeaks released the conversations among the Syrian ministers before the civil war started saying all hell's going to break loose we can't handle this. There were other causes there too just as there are for the Central American refugees. My point is, the knock-on consequences of the climate crisis has political effects and some of these nations have difficulty governing themselves in the best of seasons but when they have the added pressure of these tremendous climate consequences some of them tipped over the edge and the gates of hell did open in Syria. Russia, they had the worst drought in their history 2010 and the worst fires ever, 55,000 people killed so they canceled all their grain exports and there were food riots in 60 countries including in Tunisia where at the peak of food prices a food vendor, set himself on fire. That's what touched off the Arab spring and his last words were not down with a tyrant. His last words were, "How am I supposed to live?" We have these crises in West Africa. We have them in Southeast Asia. The water crises brewing in northern China. In Bangladesh, it's sea level rise and the stronger ocean-based storms so farmers that were used to rebuilding their lives every 20 years now have to rebuild them every 6 or 7 years, and they can't do that. India has just completed the largest steel fence in the world on its southern border with Bangladesh and I could go on and give you other examples but my point-- The health consequences we were talking about that in the green room upstairs. The mosquito is spreading and diseases I never heard of when I was your age, Jaden. Zika, chicken Gaya, not to mention malaria and these other tick and mosquito-borne diseases heat stress, food shortages. All of the crops that we use as our food today were patiently selected by Neolithic women 10,000 years ago. They save the seeds of the best-producing plants and then generation after generation they kept on replanting the best ones and that's where our broccoli and cauliflower and lettuce and carrots and potatoes and everything we eat came from but they were optimized for a climate that we're now changing. We're seeing crop yields decline because of heat stress and the change in the periodicity of the rainfall coming at planting time or at harvest time or not coming at all for long stretches. For many years, we were really encouraged by the act that hunger in the world has been going down and poverty has been going down, yay. Well, the last four years it started going up again because of the climate crisis. Now, I won't even try to go through the rest of the list of these consequences but it is a whole system crisis and it is at our doorstep right now. It is a global emergency facing us at this very moment. The time for complacency is over. The time for political activism and a demand for changes in policies is right now and we've got to do it. [applause] is right now and we've got to do it. [applause] -That's right now. That's right now. You're the best. You're the best. You're the best, but it is right now. Right now is when we have to make the change and I feel like a lot of people in the world-- Everybody cares. Everybody cares about themselves about their well-being about happiness, about their neighbors but not everybody knows the videos for example, that you were playing and what you were showing us of the countless amounts of videos of streets just flooding people being trapped in cars and just a whole like what should be a main street of a city just being run by water cars being stripped down the road. I'm not trying to scare people. I'm just trying to get-- -You told us you are trying to scare people. -No, I am trying to scare people. -You told us you are trying to scare people. -No, I am trying to scare people. [laughter] -That is my que, man, don't pull it out from me We've got to give them the hope too we do have the solutions. The missing ingredient is the political will but yes, those videos. Every night on the television news is like a nature hike for the book of Revelation now. [laughter] Honestly, I get people sending me videos every single day from cities that don't even show up in the news at all where they have these 1000-year downpours. In parts of Texas it was a once in 250,000-year downpour. By the way, have you had any fires this year in California? That's also climate-related. The Mendocino Complex Fire was the largest fire in the history of California. There's practically a year-round fire season here now. That's because of the drying of the land and the vegetation. Now, we can solve this but we have got to face the danger without letting it tip you into despair. Despair is just another form of denial. There are some people that go straight from denial to despair without pausing on the intermediate step of solving the dam crisis which we have the ability to do. [applause] which we have the ability to do. [applause] Here's the thing, it's really challenging. The complexity of it is challenging. I think maybe we're getting past the point where the complexity is so much that people don't want to understand. More and more people really really do because they're seeing these things. Mother Nature has a pretty powerful voice and she's hard to argue with. The complexity has been a barrier. The fact that it is global in its dimension also is something we're not used to dealing with. The fact that it seems to be a longer-term threat when it's really present now also gives people a chance to say "Well, I'll just wait on this." By the way, these climate deniers funded by mainly the fossil fuel companies they count on all of the psychological tricks they can use to convince people to say "Oh, we can wait on that. Wait a minute, one-tenth or 1% of the scientists still don't agree. Let's wait on the other one-tenth of 1%. It may be sunspots." It's not sunspots. It's all this gaseous garbage that we're putting into the atmosphere trap and the, "I don't want to get wound up again." [applause] I wish there was a magic wand I could wave. I wish there were magic words I could use. I wish that I knew a better and more effective way to transfer zap. What I feel in my heart having studied this intensely for more than 40 years right into your heart and head. I believe in democracy. I believe in a reformed version of capitalism. I believe in humanity. I know we have limitations from our long period of development. We're ready to fight the things that our ancestors survived. More modern complex threats that are more deadly. We got to think about those and doesn't come naturally and viscerally. In spite of our limitations we also have the ability to rise above those limitations and we have done it before. This is the biggest challenge we've ever faced. Nuclear war is the only one in the same category and we've held that at bay for quite a while, now pretty successfully. Don't get me started. [laughter] This one is an existential threat to the future of our civilization and potentially to the future of our species. Do not get discouraged. Do not despair. Yes, Donald Trump announced that he wants to pull us out of the Paris agreement. What people often don't know is that the first day we could legally leave the Paris agreement is the day after the next presidential election two years from now. [applause] And if there's a new president excuse me for a moment then a new president could give 30 days notice and we're back in the Paris agreement. This is still in our hands. By the way, this experiment with Trumpism is not going very well. In science and medicine some experiments are terminated early for ethical reasons. [applause] [laughter] -We can only pray. Wow, this is amazing. We've talked a lot today about putting CO2 emissions into the air but we haven't really talked about just pulling them straight out. I've been seeing a lot of growing technologies around the world where people are developing machines where you can just pull CO2 directly out of the air. I've actually never thought about that. When I look at these developing technologies and I see that people are actually saying "Oh, I can build a machine this size and it can pull the same amount of CO2 out of the air as a rain forest," but it's not the size of a rain forest. Do you see that being in our future? Do you see that being hopeful for us in the future of us being able to just build things that just take CO2 out of the air and turn it back into some type of material that we can create plastic and turn it to ink or? -I hope so, I hope so. As of right now, the most advanced and effective technology we have for pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere is called a tree. [applause] -When you take that technology to scale is called a forest. The really smart women and men in the scientific and engineering communities that have put pencil to paper and have really delved deeply into this they all reach basically the same conclusion and that is, the Paris agreement is a great start. It's not nearly enough but it's a really encouraging start and it has built into it a five-year review period every five years for nations to ratchet up their commitments so that's great. Then they go further and they say, "Look, when we do all the numbers it's hard to solve this without coming up with some way to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere." I hope there are technology breakthroughs that make that affordable. I wouldn't bet against it but we have to start now with what we have already in place. By the way, we are still seeing the destruction of forest land at the rate of about one football field per second. This populist authoritarian way that I mentioned before has just captured Brazil and some worry that the Amazon may now be at risk because of Bolsonaro that's the guy just elected president his platform, maybe he'll moderate that. I don't know, I hope so. Yes, we have to find a way to do it. Now, there's another thing related to this Jaden called carbon capture and sequestration which doesn't pull it out of the air but it hovers above the smokestacks where they're generating a lot of it and it captures it there and then compresses it and puts it deep underground in a form that makes it safe. Everything works and every part of that technology works but here's the trick to it. If you are the CEO of a major utility generating electricity and you say, "That's what I want to do." You install that, you have to take one-third of the electricity you're now selling to your customers and use it to power that technology instead so, no utility can survive doing that. The volumes are so large that it's almost impossible to socialize that cost. Maybe there will be some breakthroughs there too and maybe that will become cheaper and more politically acceptable. What we already have at our disposal that creates jobs, that saves us money that also cleans the air pollution out of the sky that's also produced when we burn fossil fuels killing more than nine million people a year. Air pollution is the new smoking they say now. That comes from burning fossil fuels too mainly mercury which is also a persistent poison. We've got to stop putting that in the environment. All of these things we can start doing right now. I know we're coming to the end of our hour here but I want to close for my part Jaden by thanking you and your generation. What you personally have been doing is great keep at it, you're getting better at it. Every day, you're inspiring more people in your generation. I'll close with a line that I previewed in one of my first answers. That is, for anybody who thinks that we don't have the political will the political will to do this please remember that political will is really and truly a renewable resource in and of itself. We have the capacity in our hearts to solve this crisis if we decide that it is the morally correct economically advantageous and politically feasible decision to make. I hope that each of you will make that decision. [applause] -Ladies and gentlemen, Al Gore. -Thank you, buddy. -Thank you, Sir. [applause] -Thank you so much. Thank you.



Gore stated in an interview for The New York Times that his interest in environmentalism began when he was a teenager:

As I was entering high school, my mother was reading Silent Spring and the dinner table conversation was about pesticides and the environment ... The year I graduated from college the momentum was building for Earth Day. After Vietnam, as I was entering divinity school, the Club of Rome report came out and the limits to growth was a main issue.[1]



Gore has been involved with the environment for a number of decades. In 1976, at 28, after joining the United States House of Representatives, Gore held the "first congressional hearings on the climate change, and co-sponsor[ed] hearings on toxic waste and global warming."[2][3] He continued to speak on the topic throughout the 1980s[4] and was known as one of the Atari Democrats, later called the "Democrats' Greens, politicians who see issues like clean air, clean water and global warming as the key to future victories for their party."[1][5]

In 1989, while still a Senator, Gore published an editorial in The Washington Post, in which he argued

Humankind has suddenly entered into a brand new relationship with the planet Earth. The world's forests are being destroyed; an enormous hole is opening in the ozone layer. Living species are dying at an unprecedented rate.[6]

In 1990, Senator Gore presided over a three-day conference with legislators from over 42 countries which sought to create a Global Marshall Plan, "under which industrial nations would help less developed countries grow economically while still protecting the environment." [7]

The Concord Monitor says that Gore "was one of the first politicians to grasp the seriousness of climate change and to call for a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.[8]

Vice presidency: 1993–2001

As Vice President, Gore was involved in a number of initiatives related to the environment. He launched the GLOBE program on Earth Day 1994, an education and science activity that, according to Forbes, "made extensive use of the Internet to increase student awareness of their environment".[9] In the late 1990s, Gore strongly pushed for the passage of the Kyoto Protocol, which called for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.[10][11] He was opposed by the Senate, which passed unanimously (95–0) the Byrd–Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98),[12] which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States".[13] On November 12, 1998, Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.[14] The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification. In 1998, Gore became associated with Digital Earth.[15] He also began promoting a NASA satellite that would provide a constant view of Earth, marking the first time such an image would have been made since The Blue Marble photo from the 1972 Apollo 17 mission. The "Triana" satellite would have been permanently mounted in the L1 Lagrangian Point, 1.5 million km away.[16] This satellite would allow the measurement of the earth's changing reflectivity (albedo) due to melting ice caps, but the project was put on hold by George W. Bush's administration. The satellite was finally launched in 2015 as the Deep Space Climate Observatory.


Generation Investment Management

In 2004, Gore co-launched Generation Investment Management, a company for which he serves as Chair. The company was "a new London fund management firm that plans to create environment-friendly portfolios. Generation Investment will manage assets of institutional investors, such as pension funds, foundations and endowments, as well as those of 'high net worth individuals,' from offices in London and Washington, D.C."[17] The fund's filed accounts showed profits in 2017 of £248.5m, with assets of £14.2bn. Turnover at the London-based operation was £293m with distributed profits of £193m to the firm's 32 members, one of the senior staff receiving £41m (Sunday Times (UK), 16 September 2018).

We Can Solve It

Gore and The Alliance for Climate Protection created the We Can Solve It organization, a web-based program with multiple advertisements on television focused on spreading awareness for climate crisis (global warming) and petitioning for the press putting more attention on the crisis, the government doing more to help the environment, and their ultimate goal is the end to global warming. Although focused mostly upon the United States, and Americans, it is an international petition and effort. It already has over one million signatures.[1]

Lectures and conferences

In recent years, Gore has remained busy traveling the world speaking and participating in events mainly aimed towards global warming awareness and prevention.[18] His keynote presentation on global warming has received standing ovations, and he has presented it at least 1,000 times according to his monologue in An Inconvenient Truth. His speaking fee is $100,000.[19] Gore's global warming presentations in several major cities have sometimes been associated with exceptionally severe cold weather, a juxtaposition since dubbed "the Gore Effect."[20][21] Gore is a vocal proponent of carbon neutrality, buying a carbon offset each time he travels by aircraft.[22] Gore and his family drive hybrid vehicles.[23] In An Inconvenient Truth Gore calls for people to conserve energy.

Bono and Al Gore at The World Economic Forum, 2008
Bono and Al Gore at The World Economic Forum, 2008

In 2007, Al Gore was the main non-official representative for the United States in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, which is a series of discussions that plans to continue where the Kyoto Protocol left off when it expires in 2012.[24] He used a famous World War II poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller to describe how the international community is eerily accomplishing nothing in the face of the greatest crisis in human history.[25] He ended the speech using his famous tag line: "However, political will is a renewable resource."[26]

During Global Warming Awareness Month, on February 9, 2007, Al Gore and Richard Branson announced the Virgin Earth Challenge, a competition offering a $25 million prize for the first person or organization to produce a viable design that results in the removal of atmospheric greenhouse gases.[27]

A public lecture at University of Toronto on February 21, 2007, on the topic of global warming, led to a crash of the ticket sales website within minutes of opening.[28]

In March 2008, Gore gave a talk via videoconferencing in order to promote this technology as a means, he argued, of fighting global warming.[29]

On 17 July 2008, Gore gave a speech at the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. in which he called for a move towards replacing a dependence upon "carbon-based fuels" with Green energy by the United States within the next ten years. Gore stated: "When President John F. Kennedy challenged our nation to land a man on the moon and bring him back safely in 10 years, many people doubted we could accomplish that goal. But 8 years and 2 months later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon."[30][31] Some criticized his plan. According to the BBC, "Robby Diamond, president of a bipartisan think tank called Securing America's Future Energy,[32] said weaning the nation off fossil fuels could not be done in a decade. 'The country is not going to be able to go cold turkey ... We have a hundred years of infrastructure with trillions of dollars of investment that is not simply going to be made obsolete.' " [33]

Repower America

On July 21, 2008, Al Gore used a speech to challenge the United States to commit to producing all electricity from renewable sources (AERS) like solar and wind power in 10 years .[34][35] Al Gore´s Alliance for Climate Protection In this speech, Al Gore says that our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels is at the core of all three of the economic, environmental and national security crises. Our democracy has become sclerotic at a time when these crises require bold policy solutions.[36]

Center for Resource Solutions supports Al Gore's Repower America goal.[37]

Civil disobedience to stop coal plants

On September 24, 2008, Gore made the following statements in a speech given at the Clinton Global Initiative:

"If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration."[38]

These remarks were similar to ones he'd made the previous year:

"I can't understand why there aren't rings of young people blocking bulldozers," Mr. Gore said, "and preventing them from constructing coal-fired power plants."[39]

Climate Reality Project

In March 2010[40] two nonprofit organizations founded by Al Gore, The Alliance for Climate Protection and The Climate Project, joined together, and in July 2011 the combined organization was renamed the Climate Reality Project.[41] In February 2012 the Climate Reality Project organized an expedition to the Antarctic with civic and business leaders, activists and concerned citizens from many countries.[42]


In 2013, Gore became a vegan.[43] He had earlier said that "it's absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets across the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis -- not only because of the [carbon dioxide] involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process"[44] and some speculate that his adoption of the new diet is related to his environmentalist stance.[44] In a 2014 interview, Gore said "Over a year ago I changed my diet to a vegan diet, really just to experiment to see what it was like. ... I felt better, so I've continued with it and I'm likely to continue it for the rest of my life."[45]

Rampal power plant

In a plenary session of the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos of Switzerland on January 18, 2017, Al Gore urged Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to stop building the coal-powered Rampal Power Station close to the largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans.[46]

Climate and Health Summit

A "Climate and Health Summit" which was originally going to be held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was cancelled without warning in late January, 2017.[47] A few days later, Gore revived the summit, which he will hold without the CDC.[48]

Environmental criticism

Four main environmental criticisms have been leveled at Gore: (1) he has an alleged conflict of interest from his role as both an investor in green-technology companies and as an advocate of taxpayer-funded green-technology subsidies,[49][50] (2) he allegedly makes erroneous scientific claims,[51][52] (3) he consumes excessive amounts of energy,[53] and (4) he allegedly refuses to debate others on the subject of global warming.[54]

In reference to Gore's alleged conflict of interest, some critics have labeled Gore a "carbon billionaire." [55] In response to these criticisms Gore stated that it is "certainly not true" that he is a "carbon billionaire" and that he is "proud to put my money where my mouth is for the past 30 years. And though that is not the majority of my business activities, I absolutely believe in investing in accordance with my beliefs and my values."[56] Gore was challenged on this topic by Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn who asked him: "The legislation that we are discussing here today, is that something that you are going to personally benefit from?"[56] Gore responded by stating: "I believe that the transition to a green economy is good for our economy and good for all of us, and I have invested in it." Gore also added that all earnings from his investments have gone to the Alliance for Climate Protection and that "If you believe that the reason I have been working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed, you don't know me."[56] Finally, Gore told Blackburn: "Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country ... I am proud of it. I am proud of it."[57]

Criticisms of Gore's allegedly erroneous scientific statements tend to focus on a British High Court's ruling that Gore's Inconvenient Truth documentary was deemed by the court to have nine significant errors.[51] Several of these, such as the statement that climate change was a main cause of coral reef bleaching,[58] and that polar bears were drowning due to habitat-loss as a result of ice-cap melting,[59] have been subsequently backed up by stronger evidence than the court was able to locate at the time. The court's broad conclusion, nevertheless, was that "many of the claims made by the film were fully backed up by the weight of science."[51]

Gore has also been the subject of criticism for his personal use of energy, including his ownership of multiple large homes.[60] The Tennessee Center for Policy Research (TCPR) has twice criticized Gore for electricity consumption in his Tennessee home. In February 2007, TCPR stated that its analysis of records from the Nashville Electric Service indicated that the Gore household uses "20 times as much electricity as the average household nationwide."[61][62] In reporting on TCPR's claims, MSNBC's Countdown With Keith Olbermann noted that the house has twenty rooms and home offices and that the "green power switch" installed increased their electric bill while decreasing overall carbon pollution.[63] Philosopher A. C. Grayling also defended Al Gore, arguing that Gore's personal lifestyle does nothing to impugn his message and that Gore's critics have committed the ad hominem fallacy.[64]

A few months later, the Associated Press reported on December 13, 2007, that Gore "has completed a host of improvements to make the home more energy efficient, and a building-industry group has praised the house as one of the nation's most environmentally friendly ... 'Short of tearing it down and starting anew, I don't know how it could have been rated any higher,' said Kim Shinn of the non-profit U.S. Green Building Council, which gave the house its second-highest rating for sustainable design."[65]

Gore was criticized by the TCPR again in June 2008, after the group obtained his public utility bills from the Nashville Electric Service and compared "electricity consumption between the 12 months before June 2007, when it says he installed his new technology, and the year since then."[66][67] According to their analysis, the Gores consumed 10% more energy in the year since their home received its eco-friendly modifications. TCPR also argued that, while the "average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year," the Gore residence "uses an average of 17,768 kWh per month –1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations."[67] Gore's spokeswoman Kalee Kreider countered the claim by stating that the Gores' "utility bills have gone down 40 percent since the green retrofit." and that "the three-year renovation on the home wasn't complete until November, so it's a bit early to attempt a before-and-after comparison."[68] She also noted that TCPR did not include Gore's gas bill in their analysis (which they had done the previous year) and that the gas "bill has gone down 90 percent ... And when the Gores do power up, they pay for renewable resources, like wind and solar power or methane gas."[69] Media Matters for America also discussed the fact that "100 percent of the electricity in his home comes from green power" and quoted the Tennessee Valley Authority as stating that "[a]lthough no source of energy is impact-free, renewable resources create less waste and pollution."[70]

In August, 2017, it was reported that over the past year, Gore used enough electric energy to power the typical American household for over 21 years, as per a report issued by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reportedly, Gore consumed 230,889 kilowatt hours (kWh) at his Nashville residence alone. Additionally, Gore owns two other residences – a penthouse in San Francisco and a farmhouse in Carthage, Tennessee – making his carbon footprint even larger than what was reported. Gore's Nashville home actually classifies as an 'energy hog' under standards developed by Energy Vanguard[71]

Some have argued that Gore refuses to debate the topic of global warming. Bjørn Lomborg, a key figure in the climate-change denier movement, asked him to debate the topic at a conference in California. Gore replied that he would not, stating that "The scientific community has gone through this chapter and verse. We have long since passed the time when we should pretend this is a 'on the one hand, on the other hand' issue," he said. "It's not a matter of theory or conjecture, for goodness sake." [72]

Books, film, television, and live performances

An Inconvenient Truth

Gore starred in the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth, released on May 24, 2006. The film documents the evidence for anthropogenic global warming and warns of the consequences of people not making immediate changes to their behavior. It is the fourth-highest-grossing documentary in U.S. history.[73]

After An Inconvenient Truth was nominated for an Academy Award, Donna Brazile (Gore's campaign chairwoman from the 2000 campaign) speculated that Gore might announce a possible presidential candidacy for the 2008 election. During a speech on January 31, 2007, at Moravian College, Brazile stated, "Wait till Oscar night, I tell people: 'I'm dating. I haven't fallen in love yet. On Oscar night, if Al Gore has slimmed down 25 or 30 pounds, Lord knows.'"[74] During the award ceremony, Gore and actor Leonardo DiCaprio shared the stage to speak about the "greening" of the ceremony itself. Gore began to give a speech that appeared to be leading up to an announcement that he would run for president. However, background music drowned him out and he was escorted offstage, implying that it was a rehearsed gag,[75][76] which he later acknowledged.[77]

After winning the 2007 Academy Award for Documentary Feature.[78] the Oscar was awarded to director Davis Guggenheim, who asked Gore to join him and other members of the crew on stage. Gore then gave a brief speech, saying, "My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis. It's not a political issue; it's a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act. That's a renewable resource. Let's renew it."[79]

The official documentary film website is meaningfully called [80]

At the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Gore released An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, a sequel to his 2006 film, An Inconvenient Truth, which documents his continuing efforts to battle climate change.[81]


Gore wrote Earth in the Balance (which was published in 1992) while his six-year-old son Albert was recovering from a serious accident. It became the first book written by a sitting Senator to make The New York Times bestseller list since John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage.[82]

Gore also published the book An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It, which became a bestseller. In reference to the use of nuclear power to mitigate global warming, Gore has stated, "Nuclear energy is not the panacea for tackling global warming."[83]

In July 2017, Gore published An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power: Your Action Handbook to Learn the Science, Find Your Voice, and Help Solve the Climate Crisis, concurrent with his film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.


Gore appeared in Matt Groening's Futurama as himself and his own head in a jar in episodes related to environmentalism. Gore also reprised the role in the 2007 film, Futurama: Bender's Big Score.[84] In 2000 Gore had offered to appear in the 2000 season finale of Futurama, "Anthology of Interest I". In this episode, Gore led his team of "Vice Presidential Action Rangers" in their goal to protect the space-time continuum.[85] In 2002, Gore appeared in the episode "Crimes of the Hot".[86] In addition, Gore used a short clip from Futurama to explain how global warming works in his presentations as well as in An Inconvenient Truth.[87] An internet promo for An Inconvenient Truth titled A Terrifying Message From Al Gore was also produced by Groening and David X. Cohen, creators of Futurama, starring Gore and Bender (John DiMaggio).[88]

Live Earth

On July 7, 2007, Live Earth benefit concerts were held around the world in an effort to raise awareness about climate change. The event was the brainchild of Gore and Kevin Wall of Save Our Selves. On July 21, 2007, Gore announced he was teaming with actress Cameron Diaz for a TV climate contest, 60 Seconds to Save the Earth, to gain people's support in solving the climate crisis.[89]

2007 Nobel Peace Prize and India

Al Gore receives the Nobel Peace Prize in the city hall of Oslo, December 10, 2007
Al Gore receives the Nobel Peace Prize in the city hall of Oslo, December 10, 2007

Gore was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, which was shared by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, headed by Rajendra K. Pachauri (Delhi, India).[90] The award was given "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change" on October 12, 2007.[91]

Gore made the following statement after receiving the prize:

I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—the world's pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis—a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.[92]

Gore and Pachauri accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 2007.[93][94]

In the Lecture he delivered on December 10, 2007, in Oslo, fece to the Royal Highnesses of Norway, to the members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee and to the other ladies and gentlemen, who attended the ceremony for the Nobel prize-giving, he made this surprising statement:

Last September 21, as the Northern Hemisphere tilted away from the sun, scientists reported with unprecedented distress that the North Polar ice cap is "falling off a cliff." One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years.

— Al Gore, from the Lecture delivered on December 10, 2007, in Oslo in occasion of the ceremony for the Nobel prize-giving[95]

In a talk given during March 2008 in Delhi, Gore argued that India, as a leader in information technology, is in a particularly strong position to also lead the way in climate change.[96][97][98] This talk coincided with the release of two children's books by Gore jointly published with the India Habitat Centre.[99]

Selected honors and awards

Selected publications


  • Our Choice. Rodale Books. 2009. ISBN 978-1-59486-734-7.
  • Al Gore (2008). <i>Our Purpose: The Nobel Peace Prize Lecture 2007</i>. Rodale Books. ISBN 978-1-60529-990-7.
  • Know Climate Change and 101 Q and A on Climate Change from 'Save Planet Earth Series', 2008 (children's books) [99]
  • Al Gore (2006). An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We can do about it. New York: Rodale Books. ISBN 978-1-59486-567-1.
  • Al Gore (1992). Earth in the Balance: Forging a New Common Purpose. Earthscan. ISBN 978-0-618-05664-4.

Articles, speeches, and introductions


Al Gore uses the terms:

Further reading

  • Kirk, Andrew G. Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism. Lawrence: Univ. of Kansas Press, 2007.[106]

See also


  1. ^ a b DIONNE, E. J. (June 14, 1989). "Greening of Democrats: An 80's Mix of Idealism And Shrewd Politics". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  2. ^ Aldred, Jessica (October 12, 2007). "Timeline: Al Gore". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
  3. ^ Corn, David (May 25, 2006). "Timeline: Al Gore". The Nation. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  4. ^ Walsh, Bryan (October 12, 2007). "A Green Tipping Point". TIME. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  5. ^ "Albert A. Gore, Jr., 45th Vice President (1993–2001)". Retrieved 2008-06-22.
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External links

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