Al Gore’s Optimism

Al Gore in Chicago

Al Gore in Chicago

Wednesday, the Washington Post published an Ezra Klein interview with former vice president Al Gore, titled, “Al Gore explains why he’s optimistic about stopping global warming.”

Gore finds there is reason to be optimistic that public sentiment is changing regarding the rapidly increasing amount of CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere and the fingerprints of man-made pollution found in severe weather occurring around the world. While climate deniers get upset, even outraged when people mention this fact, Gore believes it is possible to win the conversation on climate change. What does he mean by that? He explained,

I think the most important part of it is winning the conversation. I remember as a boy when the conversation on civil rights was won in the South. I remember a time when one of my friends made a racist joke and another said, hey man, we don’t go for that anymore. The same thing happened on apartheid. The same thing happened on the nuclear arms race with the freeze movement. The same thing happened in an earlier era with abolition. A few months ago, I saw an article about two gay men standing in line for pizza and some homophobe made an ugly comment about them holding hands and everyone else in line told them to shut up. We’re winning that conversation.

Winning the conversation on climate change means making it socially unacceptable to deny the science of man-made global warming pollution. According to Gore, “the conversation on global warming has been stalled because a shrinking group of denialists fly into a rage when it’s mentioned.” Focus on the word shrinking.

“… in spite of the continued released of 90 million tons of global warming pollution every day into the atmosphere, as if it’s an open sewer, we are now seeing the approach of a global political tipping point.”

According to Gore, it has already begun among politicians, including conservatives, who have grown weary of politicization of the science of global warming by climate deniers.

Another reason for optimism is the sharp and unexpectedly steep decrease in prices for electricity produced from wind and solar, providing a financially viable alternative to fossil fuels.

Some people really dislike Gore and what he represents. The film “An Inconvenient Truth” prompted some of this reaction,

The single most common criticism from skeptics when the film came out focused on the animation showing ocean water flowing into the World Trade Center memorial site. Skeptics called that demagogic and absurd and irresponsible. It happened last October 29th, years ahead of schedule, and the impact of that and many, many other similar events here and around the world has really begun to create a profound shift.

The truth about the man-made contribution to climate change is out. As it is understood, Al Gore’s optimism is expected to be vindicated.

Read the entire Ezra Klein interview with Al Gore on the Washington Post site here.

~ Written for Blog for Iowa

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