Al Gore gave a speech at Power Shift 2011, a conference for student activists, and stated some powerful truths that will now be mocked and derided by the ignorant, anti-science right wing: Gore to young advocates: Battle industry lobbyists to turn the tide on climate.
“It’s true that governments by and large have been politically paralyzed because the energy companies, the coal companies, the oil companies, the coal-burning utilities, they have spent enormous amounts of money and they have succeeded in many countries in paralyzing the political process,” the former vice president said.
“There are four anti-climate lobbyists on Capitol Hill in this city for every single member of the House and every single member of the Senate,” Gore said Friday night at the opening of the April 15-18 conference.
“What is the answer for this?” Gore asked. “It has to come from you. It has to come at the grassroots level. It has to come from young people, and I believe that you are up to it and that you can do it.” …
Gore said it’s vital to continue pushing for policies that would put a monetary cost on industrial emissions. “Putting a price on carbon” is the goal of cap-and-trade plans and other proposals to ensure emissions cuts, but such measures face gigantic hurdles in the current Congress.
Gore said the Civil Rights movement was fueled by youth questioning their parents about legal discrimination, and he drew a link to climate change.
“When they could not answer that moral question coming straight from the conscience of young people, that is when the laws began to change,” Gore said. “You need to ask, ‘tell me again why its al right to put 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every 24 hours, 20 percent of it will still be there in 20,000 years.’”
“You need to ask that question and other related questions. Don’t they see the evidence, don’t they hear what the scientists are saying, do they actually believe this lying from the large carbon polluters, that the scientists are making this up?” Gore added.
I’ve done my share of Gore-bashing in the past, and it hasn’t always been unwarranted, but he deserves a lot of respect for fighting back against the big corporations who are trying to mislead America into the disastrous mistake of ignoring the inevitable consequences of climate change.
If the human race survives its own nest-fouling, we’ll owe a debt of gratitude to people like Al Gore.
UPDATE at 4/17/11 6:57:48 pm
And speaking of ignoramuses, wingnut blogger Ed Morrissey responds to this call for action by posting a photo of the snow on his porch. Take that, stupid scientists!