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Monday, December 10, 2007

Gore's Nobel lecture, calling for a new time table

For those present in Oslo today to hear Al Gore's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance lecture it may have seemed the Nobel Laureate was in fact preaching to the choir but the fact is, the assembled audience was no ordinary choir; heads of state, scientists and activists like Uma Thurman one would expect should not be surprised by Gore's rhetoric, he's been warning the world about global warming for almost 20 years now and that is the message he reiterated today with one difference.

Gore called for a revival of the moral determination that allowed the "Greatest Generation" to defeat Fascism last century, Gore challenged world leaders to overcome their squeamishness, take up the role of leadership and come away from the Environmental Congress in Bali next month with a new resolve to wage war on global warming.

Saying, "We must step up our efforts to counter global warming just as the cumulative effects of the warming process have accelerated," Gore suggested the schedule for full compliance with the Kyoto Accords be put forward to 2010 rather than the current goal of 2012. Gore went on to insist that the leaders at the Bali Conference should step up and individually take responsibility for the accords even suggesting that as a body they ought to meet every 3 months until the agreement is ratified.

Of course, Gore is a politician first and foremost but that doesn't automatically disqualify him from leading the discourse on global warming as some of his critics suggest; political leadership should in fact be the staging point for any mass movement not just war and revolution, civil reform and humanitarian resolve too can have their roots in political soil.

Gore said most correctly that the world must face the fact that the global environmental crisis is not just science and statistical measurement but rather a real process seen in the changing fortunes of the world's economy and the harsh reality of an increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots. Gore's particular talent and the one he will be remembered for rather than his political leadership will be his ability to have connected poverty, disease and rising global tension to the state of a diseased, threatened environment and having the moral courage to say that you can not fix one without addressing the other.

Greener Magazine


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