Al Gore: "We Need More Advocates For Sanity" When It Comes To Climate Change

Former Vice President Al Gore gives an updated presentation on climate change in Davos, Switzerland, back in 2015. FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Robin Andrews 03 Aug 2017, 18:53

The movie’s tagline is “Be Inconvenient” – a reference to the average citizen rising up and forcing through change on a political level. It could be argued, however, that for opponents of climate advocacy, it’s traditional conservative Americans that represent the latest inconvenient truth.

Gore highlights a scene in the movie to illustrate this point: a Trump-supporting mayor “who doesn’t like the phrase global warming” has made his town almost 100 percent renewable. It turns out that he ran the numbers and found that his citizens could enjoy a much lower electricity bill using solar and wind power than coal or gas.

Once they did, the environment happened to become cleaner too. “As a side effect,” Gore adds, “they are helping to save the future of humanity.”

When it comes down to it, it could be argued that climate advocacy’s best strength is that old conservative halcyon ideal, the free market – that, and a little common sense, will win out in the end.

That’s not to diminish the role of activism and scientific literacy, however. The road ahead is still littered with obstacles, and it’ll take a concerted, continuous effort – beyond that of the “foundation of the Paris agreement” – to leave the world in a better place for the next generation.

Exaggerations no more. Paramount Pictures via YouTube

“Scientists have told me: Look, we have to adapt to the changes that are now inevitable, but we still have the ability to avoid the truly catastrophic changes that would threaten the future of human of civilization.”

Renewable energy sources – particularly solar – are portrayed as the tip of the spear in this sense. However, a rising population means that there will be more and more resource-using, carbon footprint-making people around, and by sidelining women, this will only get worse.

Gore’s solution to manage this is simple: “the empowerment of women,” driven by the “education of girls.”

“Boys too,” he hastens to add, “but with a special emphasis on girls.” The future, indeed, is female.

Studies have shown that if both were enforced, 120 billion tonnes of COby could be prevented from escaping skywards by 2050. “This is a success story unfolding in slow-motion,” Gore says.

The overwhelming feel of the movie is one of optimism, of people fighting back despite the complete and utter dereliction of duty from those in power in the US. The responsibility has shifted from a central authority to a more localized leadership.

What is holding much of this success back, however, is what Gore describes as a “democracy crisis.”

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