Monday, September 18, 2006

AL GORE - National Anarchist? New Right-ist?

Interview with Al Gore on "Enough Rope"

In his recent book 'Collapse', the author Jared Diamond asked the question: "Why do societies destroy the environment around them when they know their actions will ultimately destroy them too?" An example he gives is of the people of Easter Island, who chopped down their last tree on the way to their own extinction. According to former US Vice-President, Al Gore, we might be doing exactly the same thing with global warming.

ANDREW DENTON: Please welcome Al Gore.

ANDREW DENTON: Good to have you here.

AL GORE: Thank you. Thank you.

ANDREW DENTON: Welcome to Australia. A country I know you visited before, scuba diving on the Barrier Reef?

AL GORE: I have been diving on the reef. It's one of the many spectacular glories of this country. It really is a great place to visit.

ANDREW DENTON: You have been passionately pursuing global warming for 30 years. What is it about this issue that makes you so passionate?

AL GORE: I first became aware of it as a college student, when I had a professor who was the first person, first scientist to measure CO2 in the earth's atmosphere. I felt as if I had a ringside seat at the beginning of a really historic new discovery. And some years after that, when I was first elected to the US Congress, I helped organise the first Congressional hearings, had my professor as the lead witness and I encountered for the first time this incredible resistance to an inconvenient truth, which I later used as the title for the movie and the book, because people are resistant, particularly some of the business interests that have pollution, are resistant to seeing the reality of this. And the more I've tried to tell this story, the more passionately I've become involved in connecting the dots and making the picture as vividly clear as I can.

ANDREW DENTON: Often people who become passionate about a cause, there's a personal stimulus. In your case, it was a near fatal accident for your youngest boy, Al, when he was six. That was 17 years ago. And that caused you to rethink your priorities in your life. How do you make this personal for other people?

AL GORE: Well, that's a challenge. In my own case, I changed both my personal and professional priorities. And put my family first and in lots of ways, in every way, but then in my professional life, I put this climate crisis at the top of the list. I asked myself often the question you have asked me, how do you make it personal for others? At one point in the movie, I ask people to imagine what it would be like if our children's generation decades from now looked back and asked — "Why didn't our parents do something when they could?" And to hear that question now and to realise that the answer must come not with promises but with actions, and I try to connect the story told by the scientific community about the real-world consequences to people in every country. For example, here in Australia, they have long predicted that one consequence of global warming is increasing shortages in the supply of drinking water. And here in Sydney, in Brisbane, in Perth, and other places, you've been seeing that come true. They've predicted more Category Five cyclones. You had two of them this year here in Australia and a Category Four as well. To me, this is so compelling. I think it's the challenge of our lifetimes, and our lifetimes represent the period when the human species will make fateful decisions that will determine the future of human civilisation.

ANDREW DENTON: Yet despite the enormity of what you have just suggested, there are global warming sceptics, people disinterested or not interested in hearing what you have to say. When you're at a dinner party and a global warming sceptic expresses doubt, what do you say to them? What's the thing you zing them between the eyes with to stop them in their tracks?

AL GORE: Well, I had a dinner party in Amsterdam not long ago, and I was at a dinner party, and there were about 12 people at my table, and sceptics spoke up and I said, well, you know, there are some 15 per cent of the people who think that the Apollo landing on the moon was staged in a movie lot in Arizona, and I promise you, this young man said "Well, as a matter of fact…" So I realised I had to come up with another zinger for this young guy.

ANDREW DENTON: It was, though, wasn't it?

AL GORE: (Laughs) Shhh!


AL GORE: (Laughs)

ANDREW DENTON: That Nixon was up to no good!

AL GORE: Yeah!

ANDREW DENTON: I want to show some of the promotion for 'An Inconvenient Truth'. For those who haven't seen it, it's a very powerful film. FOOTAGE PLAYS: If this were to go, sea level worldwide would go up 20 feet. This is what would happen in Florida. Around Shanghai, home to 40 million people. The area round Calcutta, 60 million. Here's Manhattan, the World Trade Centre memorial would be underwater. Think of the impact of a couple of hundred thousand refugees and then imagine 100 million.

ANDREW DENTON: Now, one of the criticisms you've received for this film is that you have used the worst case scenario, when predictions are not absolute and even the moderate scenarios are pretty scary. What the risk, in having done that, of paralysing people with a sense of helplessness in the face of these events?

AL GORE: There are two questions in one as I hear them. First of all, this is not the worst case. The worst case, you don't want to hear! I think I'm right down the middle and in fact, the scientific community has validated the science in this film, and, for example, the six metre, six to seven metre sea level rise - that would come if Greenland broke up and slipped into the sea. It would come if west Antarctica, the portion that's propped up against the tops of islands with the warmer sea coming underneath it, if it went. If both went, it would be 12 to 14 metres. On Greenland, this past year, there were 32 glacial earthquakes between four point six and five point one on the Richter scale. That may sound like gobbledygook but, you know, a five on the Richter scale for an earthquake is enormous. And there were 32 of them this year on Greenland. That's double the number in '99. In '99 the number was double the number in '93. So that is evidence that what is almost certainly happening, there is a radical destabilising of that big mound of ice. So this is a realistic picture of what could happen if we don't act. Now, as to the paralysing effect of seeing these consequences - that's a real danger. And there are people who go - as I say in the movie - from denial to despair without pausing on the intermediate step and what denial and despair have in common is they both let you off the hook. You don't have to do anything. And actually the mature approach is, that all of us have to take, we have to find our way to it, is to act to solve this. And we can solve it. Despair is completely unjustified.

ANDREW DENTON: I don't wish to dip back into the well of despair but if you're down the middle with this movie, what is the worst-case scenario?

AL GORE: Well, the worst case scenario is that if we did not act fairly quickly, within these next 10 years, make a good start of it, that we would cross a tipping point beyond which it would be impossible to retrieve the favourable climate balance that has led to the development of human civilisation. Such a tipping point would be the melting of the north polar ice cap. If we allowed it to melt by continuing to turn up the thermostat with all of this global warming pollution, then it wouldn't come back at least for millions of years, and the conditions that we have known as a species would disappear.

ANDREW DENTON: I will ask you a bit later in the interview about the things we can do to combat this, but first of all let's look at some attitudes that confront what you're suggesting. A columnist in it country wrote earlier this year that even if climate change is man made, there is little Australia could do that would make any difference that we could measure, because our emissions would be dwarfed by China's and India's. As this is a global problem with no definable boundaries, how do you get the international community, that can't seem to agree on anything, to agree to action on this?

AL GORE: Since the end of World War II there has been the same basic architecture for every international treaty. The wealthier countries that have the wherewithal to go first have agreed to take the first steps and then after we find the pathway and chart the course, then the poorer nations, where per capita income is just a fraction of what it is in Australia and the United States, they then join in the work. And the Kyoto treaty, the first of the treaties to come on the climate crisis, is based on that same model. And if the wealthiest countries, including Australia and the United States, the two hold-outs, refuse to act, then there is little chance that China and India will. If, on the other hand, we do act, then that creates the conditions where these developing nations have to act. Right now, Australia and the United States are the 'Bonnie and Clyde' of the global community on the climate crisis. If Bonnie goes straight and reforms, then Clyde is out there isolated and would feel a lot of pressure to change. If Australia changed its policy, it would put enormous pressure on the US to change.


AL GORE: Seriously.

ANDREW DENTON: Okay. This is - speaking of the leadership of this country, our Prime Minister has said "I broadly accept the science of global warming but I disagree with the most severe scenarios." This is what he said yesterday about Kyoto and why Australia isn't signed up to it.

(FOOTAGE PLAYS)JOHN HOWARD: If we signed it, we would destroy a lot of Australian industry and we would send Australian jobs to countries like China and Indonesia and India.(FOOTAGE ENDS)

ANDREW DENTON: That's a commonly heard point, that to somehow or other cut emissions will destroy the economy. Is it possible to cut emissions and not destroy the economy?

AL GORE: Of course. And there's an argument that's always made often by industries that have a lot of pollution, when they say "We can't cut back on the pollution without hurting the job picture or the economy." And in almost every case, when pollution controls have been imposed, we find out that they've been crying wolf, and that the adaptation to a more efficient approach actually ends up helping the business and industry in question. There will be some companies that have behaved irresponsibly in dumping prodigious quantities of pollution for which the change will be very inconvenient, but for our economy as a whole, and for most industries, it will actually be beneficial. In the United States, to use one example, our automobile companies, including GM and Ford, have argued for years that if we impose restrictions on the pollution our cars emit, it will cause them to lose their markets and lose jobs. And they got what they lobbied for. The lowest standards. And now they're approaching bankruptcy, because the consumers want to buy more efficient cars. And they're buying them from Japan, and Europe, and so the old saying, be careful what you pray for, should apply, be careful what you lobby for. If you get it, it can be a form of protectionism against facing reality, and reality has a way of intruding.

ANDREW DENTON: I know the Prime Minister, you consider him a friend. You spoke to him earlier today. What did you talk about?

AL GORE: I would prefer to keep the conversation private, because it was just one-on-one.

ANDREW DENTON: Can you mime it?

AL GORE: (Laughs) That's a great idea! I like him as a friend, and it's no secret that he and I disagree on this issue, but I believe him to be a person with an open mind, an intellectual curiosity.

ANDREW DENTON: Will he see your film?

AL GORE: I hope so. He said publicly he might see it, so I hope that he will. And it takes courage to change. You know, we all dig ourselves into positions from time to time, and then defend them as a fortress, as we would a fortress, and the best leaders are ones that know when to change, and when to move into the future. I'm hopeful that he will. I do actually think it would have an enormous influence on the US posture and that in turn would be the turning point in the world's ability to solve this crisis.

ANDREW DENTON: Let me put an alternative view to you. Last year the English House of Lords did an economic inquiry into climate change, in which they suggested maybe that global warming will have beneficial consequences, such as longer growing seasons. Is it possible that you're wrong?

AL GORE: Well, no. That question has been studied, and it's quite true that there will be some temporary consequences that you can interpret in some countries as beneficial, yes. But the negative consequences far outweigh them. And the instability is continuous. Because what we're doing is forcing a radical reorganisation of the entire ecological system of the planet. Today, we're putting 70 million tonnes of global warming pollution into the Earth's atmosphere. And it's just arrogant on our part to believe that we can do that with impunity. That we can so utterly transform the relationship between the earth and the sun by blocking it with this blanket of global warming pollution that traps so much more of the sun's heat into the planet's ecological sphere with impunity. We're not immune to it.

ANDREW DENTON: That's the zinger you should've used in Amsterdam!

AL GORE: Perhaps, I know. That poor guy is still out there looking for the movie lot in Arizona! To put it another way, if you have a child who has a fever, and the fever persists, and it steadily gets higher, you go to the doctor. And you say "Please, let's check this out. What's the problem here?" Because it could be something bad. Well, the planet has a fever. And one or two degrees matters. Two or three or four or five matter even more. And it will continue to get higher until we stop dumping all this pollution into the earth's atmosphere. It is extremely damaging.

ANDREW DENTON: Let's talk about what can be done about it and to do that, let's go back a bit. The 2000 election, sorry to bring it up, this is something that maybe some Australians haven't seen. This is an appearance you did on 'Saturday Night Live' a few years ago where you visited the set of the 'West Wing'.

(FOOTAGE PLAYS)AL GORE: Would you mind if I...

JED BARTLETT: Oh sure, be my guest.

AL GORE: Hmmm...

JED BARTLETT: I guess while you were Vice-President you never actually got to sit in there?

AL GORE: Sorry?

JED BARTLETT: I was just - I guess you never actually sat in the President's chair?

AL GORE: No... No, I did not.(FOOTAGE ENDS)

ANDREW DENTON: I know they had to prise you from the set of the 'West Wing' with several security guards. There has been a lot of speculation about your intentions, even if this movie is some move back into politics. Under what circumstances would you stand for the presidency again?

AL GORE: I did go back on 'Saturday Night Live', just a few months ago, and they began the show with what they called a 'cold opener', with the announcer talking about the speculation that there may be alternate universes, and that some physicists believe that in parallel worlds, other events take place, so-and-so won the American Idol instead of ... and then they start with "Ladies and gentlemen, a message from the President of the United States." And it's me! And I'm saying, you know, gas prices, you would say petrol prices are so cheap now, it's... but anyway.


AL GORE: Let it go! (Laughs) It's hard!

ANDREW DENTON: I know! I have a therapist, I can help you.

AL GORE: Oh thanks, thanks! I don't intend to be a candidate for President again. I ran twice for President. I ran twice for Vice-President. Been there and done that, as the saying goes. It's true that I haven't entirely ruled out thinking about politics at some point in the future, but that's just an internal shifting of gears, and really, the truth is, I find the political process somewhat toxic at this point. I find I have less patience for some of the tomfoolery that's necessary in politics, and I have found other ways to serve, and I'm enjoying them. And I am involved in a campaign but it's for a cause, not a candidacy.

ANDREW DENTON: And it's the matter of effecting change, that's what you're engaged in. I'd like to hypothetically, let's assume something got you back into the presidency. I want to know how it actually works. I'm not doing it to be cruel.

AL GORE: You've done it several times!

ANDREW DENTON: My work is done! Let's assume you got back into the presidency. How easy is it to effect change? When you got Kyoto up before the international community, when you went back to America, of the 100 senators you approached to support it, only one came across. What did that tell you about your country?

AL GORE: Well, it told me that there was Category Five denial where global warming is concerned. I think that's changed somewhat now.

ANDREW DENTON: Would you get more today if you...


ANDREW DENTON: How many do you think you would get?

AL GORE: Hard to say. But almost half of the Senate have voted for a resolution now that is similar to the Kyoto approach. And I do think that we're getting close to a critical mass of support for major bold action. I continued to advocate bold changes, but ran into that brick wall of resistance, and one of the lessons I learned was the need to go to the grassroots level. I don't know if you have that phrase here.

ANDREW DENTON: Yes, we do.

AL GORE: And to go to people one by one, community by community, and engage in a fairly massive and sustained effort to try to change the minds of people about this crisis.

ANDREW DENTON: And to do that, you have some significant opposition. I will show a bit of an ad now from the 'Competitive Enterprises Institute', part funded by Exxon. This is what you might call the anti-Gore.

(FOOTAGE PLAYS)COMMERCIAL VOICE OVER: Global warming alarmists claim the glaciers are melting because of carbon dioxide from the fuel we use. But we depend on those fuels, to grow our food, move our children, light up our lives. And as for carbon dioxide - it isn't smog or smoke - it's what we breathe out and plants breathe in. Carbon dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life.(FOOTAGE ENDS)

AL GORE: I rest my case!

ANDREW DENTON: The stated aim of the Competitive Enterprises Institute is to create confusion, uncertainty about global science - and global warming science. A Time magazine poll of your country earlier this year stated that 65 per cent of Americans are still uncertain about global warming, which means that they're being effective. How do you combat that?

AL GORE: I don't think that is an accurate reading of where America is right now. I think that a lot of minds have been changed, and I think there is a level of urgency and a degree of certainty about that that's somewhat new and encouraging. A lot of business leaders who used to oppose Kyoto have now endorsed it. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California, of which he is governor, just last week passed binding reductions in carbon dioxide, a very bold measure, the Democratic legislature joined with him. Arnold Schwarzenegger went to see my movie in June and he said "I'm going to get rid of my Hummer." And he said some kind things about the movie and came to one of my book signings. There are now quite a few other state, nine north-eastern states, Pennsylvania, Oregon, state of Washington. In our federal system in the US, sometimes states take the lead, and when enough of them enact their own provisions, business finds it difficult to comply with different sets of standards, and they then say, well, it would be better to have one single national approach. We're in the beginning of that process now. So there is movement.

ANDREW DENTON: What about at the ordinary citizen level, the 'grassroots' level as you put it? In your documentary 30 per cent of greenhouse emissions come from the United States, a super-size-me society which leads the earth by example in gorging on the resources. An example we in Australia follow. Do you detect much willingness among your citizens to downsize the way you live?

AL GORE: Yes, there is a movement. The 30 per cent figure represents the historic contribution. That's the part we're responsible for that's up there now. This year, 22 per cent will come from the US. So there has already been some improvement.

ANDREW DENTON: That's Arnold's Humvee!

AL GORE: That's right. It was a big drop there! (Laughs) And there is now a growing movement toward trying to save on energy bills. The uncertainty in oil prices, Persian Gulf instability, the price of gasoline or petrol as you call it has really hurt the sale of these big SUVs, and promoted the sale of hybrids. So there is such a movement. And when enough individuals make changes in their own lives, it does improve the odds that we'll reach a political critical mass, and then we'll see the policy changes.

ANDREW DENTON: Let's talk about what individuals can do. You lead a carbon neutral life. What is that, how do you achieve it?

AL GORE: You reduce as much as you can by such things as using the new efficient light bulbs, and driving a hybrid instead of a regular car. I'm putting solar panels on the roof of my house, but even with all of that, I still am responsible for a lot of CO2. I flew here to Australia.

ANDREW DENTON: People point this out. You fly a lot of miles.

AL GORE: Absolutely.

ANDREW DENTON: How do you reduce that?

AL GORE: All honour and glory to Qantas, by the way. I had a very comfortable flight over. But for the CO2, that was represented by my portion of that flight, I go into this emerging marketplace for offsets, and purchase verified, validated reductions in CO2 by an amount that more than compensates for the quantities that I'm responsible for. There is a web site that accompanies the movie and the book,, that has a carbon calculator that individuals can use to calculate exactly what the magnitude of CO2 that you're responsible for in your own lives - how to reduce, how to find the offsets - if you desire to become a carbon neutral. You could make this show carbon neutral.


AL GORE: If you had somebody who was assigned to pay attention to that, you would find a lot of things that would be good changes anyway and then you could find offsets that you could use to get publicity for the show - your audience is so huge now you don't need that...

ANDREW DENTON: Careful. You've already done Qantas, you don't have to do me, it's alright! It's admirable and important what you're saying about how individuals can change their lives and should address change in their lives. But isn't what individuals can do in terms of saving energy in houses a drop in the ocean compared to the people who are the real cause of the problem? In your documentary and in your book, there is no real mention of big companies such as Exxon, who are responsible for something like 20 billion tonnes of world's carbon emissions every year - a sixth of the world's global economy is spent in harvesting oil. What haven't you turned your attention to them, the elephant in the room?

AL GORE: I beg to differ. I have. I don't - I try to avoid demonising specific villains, because really, we are all a part of this problem, and CO2 - the ad that you showed is kind of an obscene version of corporate lobbying, but CO2 is actually the exhaling breath of industrial civilisation, and changing that requires accepting responsibility by these large polluters, yes, I agree with that, but demonising individual companies, I think, diverts from the larger challenge that has to be addressed. I won't shrink from it. Let's talk about Exxon Mobil. What they're doing is absolutely immoral. How they live with themselves in financing intentional lies designed to confuse the public for the purpose of preventing the formation of a public consensus on saving the future of civilisation - I mean, I don't know how they live with that. And I've researched why it is that people no longer think any kind of boycott is - you know, is a viable approach to a company like that. I wish - if it was viable, I think there should be one. I think what they've done is just unforgivable.

ANDREW DENTON: Rather than demonising, perhaps illuminating. If we're talking about real change, if we're talking about a planetary emergency, then we're talking about radical change from the top up. Let's look at how the American political system works. At this day, no-one gets into the Oval Office effectively without the support of these big companies. You and President Clinton had 28 oil and power companies support you. George Bush had 20 million dollars put towards his campaign. Your inauguration was part paid for by an oil company. How do we change the way that system works so that the leaders of our nations are not beholden to these companies?

AL GORE: I think that leaves a false impression of what the reality is. It's true that in the American system, it's common for both parties to accept political action committee contributions but if you look at the reality of the example you use, it's like 20 to 1 on the side of the other party to what the Clinton/Gore campaign received.

ANDREW DENTON: Sure. I'm not trying to get party political but they're integrally involved in the political process?

AL GORE: They are and there is a valid point in what you're saying. I've long advocated complete public financing, taxpayer financing of all federal elections in the United States. I took that position when I first went to Congress in 1976. I reaffirmed it for my campaign for President for 2000. I think the entire conversation of democracy in the United States has suffered greatly because of the inappropriate use of corporate money in politics. But I think it's a symptom of a deeper problem. A problem that's probably worse in the US than it is in Australia. But the way we communicate among ourselves about the great issues of the day. More than 40 years ago, television supplanted the printing press as the source of information for the majority and its dominance has grown to the point that in my country, the average American watches television four hours and 39 minutes per day, and that's 75 per cent of the discretionary time. Unappreciated is the fact that this shift has taken us back to a one-way form of communication, where the information comes from a very few sources, and most people watch television and don't - they can talk back to it if they like but the message is not received, and in that kind of environment, it becomes much easier for special interests with a lot of wealth to dominate some of the messaging that shapes attitudes on issues.

ANDREW DENTON: How do we break that? How do we break that nexus between corporate interests and the way political decisions are made?

AL GORE: Well, I think that focusing on the role of money in politics is part of it. But I think that it's really addressing one of the symptoms rather than the cure. I think that the larger challenge is to democratise the dominant medium, and fortunately, there are now new affordable digital video cameras and laptop editing systems, and young people particularly are learning how to use them. I have started a new television network called 'Current TV', and it's on cable and satellite in 30 million homes in the US, and you can get a training course. We give a free training course to anybody in the world on how to make television. Then they stream the TV to us on the Internet, we post it, and let people vote on what they think the most compelling material is. Now, 30 per cent of our programming is made by the viewers. And if individuals in a nation or in a society are empowered to take part in the conversation, the key is having a meritocracy of ideas so that the people who are part of the conversation themselves decide which of the contributions from all these individuals merit more attention rather than less.

ANDREW DENTON: You know how it works, which is what gets back to Exxon spending money to spread disinformation, the person with the most money is able to put out the most messages and the most skilful messages and they win.

AL GORE: Exactly right. That is the way it works.

ANDREW DENTON: Tear it down, Al, come on!

AL GORE: I'm trying. I'm trying.

ANDREW DENTON: This is what I'm waiting to hear. How?

AL GORE: That's the way it works now.

ANDREW DENTON: Yeah, but how do you tear it down?

AL GORE: I'm trying to tell you. You build a bridge between the...

ANDREW DENTON: I need a zinger, Al!

AL GORE: (Laughs) You see, this is part of the problem, though, you see. It's part of the problem.

ANDREW DENTON: I need an intelligent zinger.

AL GORE: ENOUGH ROPE is the place where you can go beyond zingers, am I right about that? We don't need to just focus on these zingers.


AL GORE: Please!


AL GORE: All right.

ANDREW DENTON: You got 90 minutes!

AL GORE: (Laughs) That's truly ENOUGH ROPE! But seriously... The Internet allows individuals to get into contact with this incredible universe of knowledge out there, and it allows individuals to take part in the conversation. It has been that individuals find like-minded groups, and that's not entirely bad, but the Internet has not become a main public forum. With television, it is possible for individuals to contribute short-form, non-fiction essays, if you will - here's what I see in my world. Make it creative. The essays attracted an audience depending upon the excellence of the prose, the style of the writing as well as the quality of the ideas and in that same way, these televised expressions have to be compelling and attract their own audience, and as they do, what it can happen is the television medium can be the forum that it was intended to be so that we can once again have a conversation of democracy that is not dominated by Exxon Mobil financing these insipid ads for the virtues of carbon dioxide, but rather, individuals can make their own case...

ANDREW DENTON: We could discuss this a lot further, the whole problem with the profit principle and how that drives markets, but I know you have to go. I want to finish up with the fact this is the fifth anniversary of September 11. And it seems as though the world's attention is forever being wrenched back to the war on terror. How optimistic are you that we can rise above our differences to actually address a planetary emergency?

AL GORE: I don't think it should be posed as an either/or choice. The threat of terror and terrorism is real. All too real. And we must redouble our resolve to protect our citizens against terrorists, and I think we can do so. But we are capable of walking and chewing gum simultaneously. And as we continue to be diligent against the threats of terror, surely we are capable of simultaneously addressing by far the most serious crisis civilisation has ever faced. In fact, if we move beyond our dependence on oil and coal and move beyond this pattern of shipping all this money to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf - that's actually the source of most of the financing that's siphoned off in various ways to feed many of these terrorist organisations. That's not a good pattern. We need to change every part of that. And as we do, we will also gain forward momentum, gain moral authority, gain vision, deprive the terrorists of some of their financing, and find that it's easier to address the other challenges that we have to address, including terrorism.

ANDREW DENTON: And what gives you cause for optimism?

AL GORE: I know one thing about the political system in my country, in yours, and worldwide - that some of the pessimists don't know. It shares a feature in common with the climate system. It can seem to move very slowly, but when we aren't noticing it, it can cross a tipping point and then shift into an entirely different gear and move with incredible speed. We have done that in our democracies in the past. We are close to doing that in reaction to the climate crisis. We will cross that tipping point when enough people internalise the truth of our situation. We have to disenthrall ourselves from the propaganda, from the advertising, from the falsehoods, from the illusions, and we have to see the reality of this new relationship we have to the earth. We have quadrupled population in less than 100 years. We have thousands of times more powerful technologies. We're like the bull in the china shop, except that we have the capacity to become aware of what we're doing. When enough people become aware of it, understand it, and then decide that we owe it to our children to leave them a planet that is not degraded, and hostile to the human species, then we will find ways to solve this. I know that we will.

ANDREW DENTON: Al Gore, I hope you're right. Thank you very much.

AL GORE: Thank you.

To find out more about 'An Inconvenient Truth', visit the Climate Crisis website.

The 'carbon calculator' that Al Gore mentioned in the interview is also available at the Climate Crisis website.


thinking outside the square said...

Al Gore is certainly not a New Rightist nor a National Anarchist!

He's a liberal democrat through and through, who is no friend to White Nationalism.

The only positive is that he cares about the environment.

Don't be fooled as he is merely a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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Royal Blue said...

I was surprised that Al Gore was so honest about the brutality of business and their agenda to create more consumers at any cost to the environment.

Al Gore wondered how some of the bigger oil companies Executives slept at night.

It is too late for those climbing the greasy poll to the top, to suddenly turn around now, after they themselves have profited from the effects we see of climatic and rising seas.

Countries are disappearing and the effects on land is creating disease and limited nutritional sources.

Scientist have been warning our Governments for years.

Our "leaders" have wheeled out the media blitz of ignorance and applied a tactic of divide and conquer for control and power.

Is Al Gore dividing for his ultimate revenge?