Friday, July 06, 2007

Al Gore - Global Warming is a "planetary emergency"

The polar ice caps are melting at a rate which may see them gone in as little as 30 years, Al Gore told CNN’s Larry King; “But we can still save it” insists the former Presidential candidate. He says he doesn’t miss politics saying he has a far more important mission. “I’m on a very different campaign to solve the biggest problem our planet faces” Gore insists. He is helped by friends and former colleagues. Tommy Lee Jones a former room mate with Gore at Harvard narrates the voice over to commercials promoting efforts to changing peoples’ attitude to protecting the environment. “We are living in a bubble of illusion” says Al Gore, “we are in a planetary emergency”.

And he is helped in his mission by Kevin Wall, Live Earth’s founder and Co-Producer, who says he saw Al Gore’s slide show and wanted to be a part of the effort to save the planet.

The concert featuring a number of top musical acts will be performed in 7 continents from the US to China.

Starting in Sydney Australia, the proceedings will bring coverage from, Shanghai, China; Tokyo, Japan; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; New York, USA; London, UK; Hamburg, Germany; and Johannesburg in Africa. One can only guess the carbon footprint such an event will leave in its wake. However Al Gore is pragmatic with regards criticism targeted at this latest effort to bring the Global Warming threat to people’s attention. “If we can get even a small proportion of people to sign up to this 7 point pledge, then it will make a difference”, Gore insists.

But will really make a difference? And is scepticism in the global warming argument still too strong? Gore concedes there is much work to be done and says people must “wake up”.

Whilst many might agree that pollution is an issue, there still exists disagreement on what the causes of global warming are. A visitor to Shanghai or Beijing in China can see at first hand what pollution can do to the air. Too many vehicles, uncontrolled industry and coal fired power stations all add up to create a toxic mix of pollutants which hang over the city often for weeks at a time. But whilst others live in relatively cleaner environments, and suffer wet and windy summers, the argument for global warming is less convincing.

Gore is not put off by sceptics. “There are some who still think the world is flat” Gore quips, “but it’s hard when some of the largest polluters close their ears and spend millions of dollars a year to intentionally confuse people into thinking this isn’t real”.
But Gore insists the problem is very real, “and some of the problems that scientists say we should watch out for, because they are associated with global warming, are beginning to happen; the stronger storms, the sea level rise, the diseases from the tropics moving into areas where people live, the melting of the ice…”
“This is a moral issue, an ethical issue, it’s about the survival of our civilization, we’re not used to thinking or talking in that way but that’s what’s at stake” says the former US Vice President. “We don’t have that many years to play around”, he warns, “every day we will put 70M tonnes of Global Warming pollution into the atmosphere of the Earth as if it’s an open sewer. And we cannot continue to do that. But we will find it difficult to stop it until there is enough political will, that comes from the grass roots, to embolden the political leaders to pass new laws and policies that stop it.”
Gore says his mission to save the planet is far from over as he tries to convince politicians. “If I do my job correctly, within 500 days when the election is held in the US, then all candidates will be talking about it in realistic terms and offering meaningful solutions.” And although he is taking his message to all the countries of the world he finishes by saying “the US should provide leadership.”
[ / Larry King Live]

No comments: