Politics Al Gore
posted by October 24 at 9:45 AMon
(Prologue: During the Q&A, a woman got on an audience microphone, said she’d seen An Inconvenient Truth and wrote Al Gore a letter the next day, offering to quit her job and work for him. She never heard back, but wondered if Gore would accept her letter then and there. He did. Would that young woman please email firstname.lastname@example.org? We want to know if Al Gore gives you a job.)
The crowd at Key Arena seemed big, everybody primed to cheer on their Ezekiel, their doom and gloom prophet come from the wilderness with a message of repentance. Gore seemed caught in a tension between two tendencies: the desire to connect by playing the comedian (“put yourself in my place—I flew on Air Force Two for two years and now I have to take off my boots to get on a planeâ€ť) and the professor (facts, figures, ice earthquakes in Greenland, collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica, desertification, CO2 levels, forest fire patterns, study after study after study).
He started with a few jokes, (“I looked in the rear-view mirror and there was no motorcade—they talk about phantom limb pain… “), said he “had no plansâ€ť to run in ‘08. Then he started the slide show and presentation.
It was long. It was convincing. It was sad, ranging from the poetic (“within 15 years there will be no more snows of Kilimanjaroâ€ť) to the disastrous. Gore demonstrated the distortion of the science on global warming by the Bush White House. For example: Climate change is a cyclical phenomenon, but the period of medieval warming was a tiny blip compared to the cliff of warming we’ve measured since the middle of the 20th century. Gore also demonstrated the motive for distortion: lobbyists in the White House, the Philip Cooney scandal, et al.
Then he took questions, made jokes, was generally charming, and even hit the local angle, stumping for light rail and good architecture and urban design. It seemed awfully like a campaign event, but Gore insisted his campaign in ‘08 would be to get voters to press all the candidates about climate change.