In a bold “Apollo-like” statement, delivered today from Washington D.C., former Vice President and Nobel Peace Laureate Al Gore challenged the nation to commit to a renewable energy economy, and to do it now – within the next ten years.
Proposing that all electrical generation come from renewable, non-carbon emitting sources is
…achievable, affordable, and transformative”, Gore said.
Stating that the common problems facing the country are intertwined, Gore called on Americans to solve America’s economic, environmental, and national security crisis by rallying behind a single, comprehensive objective.
We are borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that's got to change."
Reactions to Gore’s speech came from across the political and social spectrum, including former Republican Congressman Sherwood Boehlert who said of Gore’s call to action:
Meeting this challenge is not a political issue; it is a fundamental issue about our economic future. This plan would provide real stability to the American economy for the next generation. Once we make the initial capital investments, the fuel is free and no other country or group can restrict our access to it. Renewable fuels - sun, wind, geothermal - are free; they're not traded on the global market so they are not subject to huge spikes in price. This is the kind of economic security American families want and deserve."
Dr. James Hansen of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies added,
This is just what the doctor ordered: to cure our carbon addiction and stimulate the economy."
The speech was hosted by the 1.4 million-strong “WE” Campaign (as in “We can solve it”) coordinated by the Alliance for Climate Protection.
Gore concluded his speech urging all of us to resist the temptation toward cynicism and pessimism and instead to seize the moment that is before us:
And folks who claim to know how our system works these days have told us we might as well forget about our political system doing anything bold, especially if it is contrary to the wishes of special interests. And I've got to admit, that sure seems to be the way things have been going. But I've begun to hear different voices in this country from people who are not only tired of baby steps and special interest politics, but are hungry for a new, different and bold approach."
"We must now lift our nation to reach another goal that will change history. Our entire civilization depends upon us now embarking on a new journey of exploration and discovery. Our success depends on our willingness as a people to undertake this journey and to complete it within 10 years. Once again, we have an opportunity to take a giant leap for humankind."