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November 11, 2005

Al Gore on Global Warming

The Rolling Stone has a great article detailing what Al Gore has been traveling around the country saying about our real big problem, global warming, and the ramifications for all of us of standing by and doing nothing. 

I tried to get into hear Gore talk about this in Portland a couple of months ago but the lines were so long, we were turned away.  So I’ve been looking for a concise piece on it.  And it’s fiery to boot.  Here is the beginning:

It is now clear that we face a deepening global climate crisis that requires us to act boldly, quickly and wisely. "Global warming" is the name it was given a long time ago. But it should be understood for what it is: a planetary emergency that now threatens human civilization on multiple fronts. Stronger hurricanes and typhoons represent only one of many new dangers as we begin what someone has called "a nature hike through the Book of Revelation."

After he runs through the changes in weather that should deeply alarm us, he sums up:

All of these are symptoms of a deeper crisis: the "Category 5" collision between our civilization -- as we currently pursue it -- and the Earth's environment. Sixty years ago, Winston Churchill wrote about another kind of gathering storm. When Neville Chamberlain tried to wish that threat away with appeasement, Churchill said, "This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste, of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year -- unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we rise again and take our stand for freedom."

And the call to act and more after the fold:

To those who say this problem is too difficult, I say that we have accepted and met such challenges in the past. We declared our liberty, and then won it. We designed a country that respected and safeguarded the freedom of individuals. We abolished slavery. We gave women the right to vote. We took on Jim Crow and segregation. We cured fearsome diseases, landed on the moon, won two wars simultaneously -- in the Pacific and in Europe. We brought down communism, we defeated apartheid. We have even solved a global environmental crisis before: the hole in the stratospheric ozone layer.

There’s more, including a wonderful quote by Winston Churchill on doing nothing:

In the 1930s, Winston Churchill also wrote of those leaders who refused to acknowledge the clear and present danger: "They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent. The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place, we are entering a period of consequences.”

Even while we are rightly focused on reclaiming our country and taking back Congress, it's important to look farther ahead as well.  Thanks Al.  I only wish . . .

Posted by Lynn Allen on November 11, 2005 at 09:53 AM in Policy | Permalink

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Comments

uh huh...I too wish...imagine where we'd be now...

Posted by: lisa | Nov 11, 2005 1:57:20 PM

I just saw the movie and i've been looking for those quotes, thank you. I didn't realize how serious of a problem it is, granted I'm only 17, but i want to make a difference.

Posted by: matt | Jul 8, 2006 8:17:21 PM

Matt,

I'd forgotten I'd posted on this last fall. It's a good piece and it's good to know you are dedicated to making a difference. I think it's what we all, at every age, are deciding to do.

Posted by: Lynn | Jul 8, 2006 9:24:34 PM

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