Al Gore Calls Climate Change the Most Serious Challenge Humanity Has Ever Faced


-One thing that Republicans
never got to like, although some people
don’t want to admit it, is climate change. And we have obviously
seen a President who has rolled back — you know, pulled us out of
the Paris Climate Agreement, put a lot of lobbyists from the energy industry
into his cabinet. And, yet, on the other hand, it does seem like
there’s a reason for optimism because how engaged
young people are right now in the sense that
they understand how much their future
is being played with. Do you feel like we are doomed,
or do you have some optimism? -Well, I have optimism and hope,
but in all candor, we’ve got to recognize that this
is the most serious challenge human civilization
has ever faced. I mean, this is for real. I’m sure you know that
very well. I know you well enough
to be sure of that. I mean, we’re putting
142 million tons of this man-made heat-trapping
pollution into the sky like it’s an open sewer
every day. You’ve seen the fires out West
and, you know, the rain bombs, and the ice is melting
and all of that stuff, so it’s very serious. Now, Trump —
President Trump said he wants to take the country
out of the Paris Agreement, but under the law,
he can’t do it until one day after the next
Presidential election next year. So that decision is still
in the hands of the people. And a new President could
put us back in in 30 days. But I want to agree with
one thing you said. Greta Thunberg
and the other young people who are appealing to
the conscience of men and women
all around the world are really leading an
extremely important movement. The School Strike movement
and the Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement, these young people are really
making a huge difference, and this is going to grow. -Tell us about — I guess
tomorrow is 24 hours of action. Yes?
-Yeah, yeah. From 6:00 P.M. Eastern time
tomorrow to 6:00 P.M. the following day,
that 24-hour period, in more than 1,700 locations
all around the planet, all 50 states, 70-some-odd
foreign countries, Antarctica, there will be
the same presentation, a very updated,
up-to-the-minute version of the slideshow
“An Inconvenient Truth,” all new, with an emphasis
on the solutions. And, again, it will be presented
all around the world. Lots of the audiences
in these almost 2,000 locations are 500 and more. Some are smaller audiences. But it’s a mass global event to raise awareness
and motivate people. And, by the way,
I hope everybody here
is registered to vote because next year’s elections
are very important. -Big year. I want to ask about
the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal
lays out a lot of the things you’ve been talking about
for a very long time. Are you impressed by it? And are you also
a little jealous you didn’t come up
with the name? ‘Cause the Green New Deal
is a real good name. -I think it’s a great brand
and a great name. And, you know, my friend
Tom Friedman actually used that phrase
some years back. But I think it’s genius because
it does a couple of things. It manages to communicate
the reality that the solutions
to the climate crisis are going to have to be big
on the scale of the New Deal. It also conveys that there are
lots of jobs involved. We can get our country
being more prosperous on a sustainable basis while
we solve the climate crisis. Fastest-growing job
in America — solar installer. Six times faster growth
than an average job. Second-fastest-growing job
is wind turbine technician. This is a revolution that is
creating tens of thousands, millions of new jobs. I was with Governor Phil Murphy
in New Jersey this morning. They’re launching this
humongous new offshore wind farm that’s going to produce half
of all the electricity that the entire state
of New Jersey gets. And that’s just the beginning. We’re seeing the same thing
under Governor Cuomo here in New York state, in California. Way more than half
the American people live in states
where the governors, the state government
are moving even faster than the Paris Agreement. So there is cause for optimism. -Well, thank you so much for all the attention you’ve
brought to this over the years. And I really hope
that your optimism is borne out to be
from a good place. And it’s just such a pleasure
to see you, as always. -Thank you very much. -Former Vice President Al Gore,
everybody.

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