Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth, which focuses on the issue of global warming, has drawn national attention to both himself and the issue.
The Mirror participated in a recent conference call with the former presidential candidate from his home in Nashville about the movie. He explained that he had been interested in this subject since the 1960’s, when he heard about the effects of global warming in his undergraduate natural science class, where measurements of atmospheric CO2 were taken by Rodger Revelle. While a member of Congress, he organized hearings in the 1970’s “to try to galvanize a response” but was unsuccessful.
Gore prepared a slide show on the issue in 1979 and began showing it again about three years ago. He was approached about making the slide show into a documentary after presenting it in Los Angeles. The same slide show is also the foundation for his book of the same name.
Gore believes the global warming crisis resulted from a “changed relationship between man and the planet” which has led to positives but also to “unintended harm to the environment.” He views the inaction by our government on the issue to be the result of “not being prepared for the need to take responsibility” for our actions that affect the environment. To him, the “psychological truth” is that if you “keep [the issue] at arms length you don’t think about it.”
The former Vice President admits, “It’s difficult to get a consensus [on this issue] across party lines,” therefore we “need a sense of urgency at the grass roots level.” He stressed there is a debate over the issue even in the scientific community. Some leading scientists are saying we only “have 10 years” left to avert a crisis. Fossil fuel companies have hired pseudo scientists who “crank out material saying it’s not a crisis.”
Gore believes the U.S. needs to join the world community to help solve the problem, and “once there is a global treaty…market forces will drive global pollution solutions.” Within the U.S. he supports “eliminating subsidies for oil and coal.” He even recommends having a CO2 tax rather than taxing individual labor.
On an individual level, Gore recommends that citizens become “carbon neutral” in their activities because a “grassroots carbon freeze movement can have a galvanizing effect.” Those interested can go to www.climatecrisis.net to access their “individual impact” on the environment with a carbon calculator. People should urge their senators and congressmen to focus on the crisis.
Gore also discussed his political ambitions, by stressing he is “not planning to be a candidate in 2008. I was in elected office for 25 years” and now want to “focus my talents on changing the political environment. This crisis is so difficult we must change the public’s mind.”
Those interested in giving the slide show can contact Gore’s office at 2100 West End Ave., Nashville, Tennessee 37205. So far, 1,000 people have been trained in Nashville to give the slide show.