Friday, June 30, 2006

An Inconvenient Answer

Al Gore is interviewed in Rolling Stone, and they asked him the Big Question: so what the heck are we going to do about global warming? I thought he kind of blew it with his answer--it doesn't seem to me he has an answer:
Rolling Stone: OK, say you're the guy making that call. What do you ask us to do -- trade in our cars and buy a hybrid?

Here's the essence of our problem: Right now, the political environment in the country does not support the range of solutions that have to be introduced. The maximum you can imagine coming out of the current political environment still falls woefully short of the minimum that will really solve the crisis. But that's just another way of saying we have to expand the limits of the possible. And that's the main reason that I made this movie -- because the path to a solution lies through changing the minds of the American people. Not just on the facts -- they're almost there on the facts -- but in the sense of urgency that's appropriate and necessary. Once that happens, then things that seem impossible now politically are going to be imperative. I believe there is a hunger in the country to be part of a larger vision that changes the way we relate to the environment and the economy. Right now we are borrowing huge amounts of money from China to buy huge amounts of oil from the most unstable region of the world, and to bring it here and burn it in ways that destroy the habitability of the planet. That is nuts! We have to change every aspect of that.
Telling people they have to change "every aspect" of the current situation isn't giving them an answer. In fact, it seems to me that Gore doesn't have an answer, either here or in his movie. OK, maybe nobody does. But when you are trying to get people to simply accept the reality of global warming, giving them some concrete ideas of what they might do is a good start, instead of saying we have to tear down the entire system and rebuild it. Conserve. Buy a hybrid if you can. Buy green power. Get people thinking in the right direction. I think Gore wiffed this one.


Anonymous said...

John Fleck says -

I think you've nailed the central problem here, David. If you accept the problem, in the way that Gore has, the solutions are monumentally difficult.

Philip Shropshire said...

You thought you could hide from me out here on the Internets didn't you Dave?

Well, now I've found you and vengeance shall be mine.

First: I want a link to

Two: You never completed that story on the Turkey Guts people, although Discover magazine did. Apparently it works, but has problems and smells bad. But it does work. Looks like it will be big in Europe.

Three: Good to have you back, Dave, said again in my best HAL voice...

Philip Shropshire

Steve Bloom said...

But Gore is absolutely correct that the largest task is to instill a sufficient sense of urgency in a critical mass of people. He could have added a laundry list of solutions to his answer, but they would be things that have been on the table for quite some time.