Al Gore made headlines today for publicly lambasting President Obama for his lackluster performance when it comes to climate change legislation. I think it’s about time, and I applaud him for calling our president out for being weak, non-commital and frankly, irresponsible for not doing more when it comes to our environmental protection. Don’t get me wrong- Republicans have done everything in their power to halt, stop, weaken and knock down legislation. And tragically, they’ve been extremely effective at blocking positive change. Regardless, we voted for a leader. Someone to show us a course where we need one. And by god do we need one.
The last three years have been extremely hard on a lot of people. A global recession that left millions out of work, and many of us underemployed or feeling dejected by the state of affairs, at least economically. In this time of despair, a nationwide coming-together could have been built around the issue of climate change. R&D, investment in clean tech, construction jobs, and even an Apollo-like quest for the next great revolution in energy. All of these things were talked about, and people like me were optimistic. Hugely grateful that people were awakening to the idea that the climate was in trouble, and that a combined effort could not only help thwart the problem, but bring our society together.
Instead, we had three years of scare tactics by oil companies, stagnation and downright inaction by industry, and a complete belly flop by the public, too swept up by menial crap like sex scandals and reality TV to give a damn about saving the one planet we have. I have raised blood pressure and a deep-seated cynicism that arose out of the last few years. I don’t trust nor put much faith into people anymore, understanding that until the floods, tornadoes, forest fires and droughts reach everyone’s front door, nothing will advance. I recommend you read Mr. Gore’s thoughtful, stirring essay, as he is surely more patient and optimistic than I.
The President has reality on his side. The scientific consensus is far stronger today than at any time in the past. Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act. – Al Gore.