Okay, no more complaints the Dems aren’t talking climate change (see “Should you freak out at the lack of air time for climate change in Denver — or Minneapolis?“). Al Gore globally warmed the crowd in a terrific speech (be sure to read to the end where he compares Obama’s experience to Lincoln’s).
Gore pointed out that if he had won in 2000:
… we would not be denying the climate crisis; we’d be solving it.
Today, we face essentially the same choice we faced in 2000, though it may be even more obvious now, because John McCain, a man who has earned our respect on many levels, is now openly endorsing the policies of the Bush-Cheney White House and promising to actually continue them, the same policies all over again.
Hey, I believe in recycling, but that’s ridiculous.
Oil company profits, as you know, have soared to record levels, and gasoline prices have gone through the roof, and we are more dependent than ever on dirty and dangerous fossil fuels. Many scientists predict — shockingly — that the entire North Polar ice cap may be completely gone during summer months during the first term of the next president. Sea levels are rising; fires are raging; storms are stronger. Military experts warn us our national security is threatened by massive waves of climate refugees destabilizing countries around the world, and scientists tell us the very web of life is endangered by unprecedented extinctions.
We are facing a planetary emergency, which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of humankind.
In spite of John McCain’s past record of open-mindedness and leadership on the climate crisis, he has now apparently allowed his party to browbeat him into abandoning his support of mandatory caps on global warming pollution.
And then he turned to focus on clean energy:
And it just so happens that the climate crisis is intertwined with the other two great challenges facing our nation: reviving our economy and strengthening our national security. The solutions to all three require us to end our dependence on carbon-based fuels.
Instead of letting lobbyists and polluters control our destiny, we need to invest in American innovation.
Almost a hundred years ago, Thomas Edison, our most famous inventor, said, “I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power!” he continued. “I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”
Well, now, in 2008, we already have everything we need to use the sun, the wind, geothermal power, conservation and efficiency to solve the climate crisis — everything, that is, except a president in the White House who inspires us to believe, “Yes, we can.” But we know how to fix that.
So how did this no-brainer become a brain-twister?
Because the carbon fuels industry — big oil and coal — have a 50-year lease on the Republican Party, and they are drilling it for everything it’s worth.
And this same industry has spent a half a billion dollars this year alone trying to convince the public they are actually solving the problem, when they are, in fact, making it worse every single day.
This administration and the special interests who control it lock, stock and barrel after barrel have performed this same sleight-of-hand on issue after issue. Some of the best marketers have the worst products, and this is certainly true of today’s Republican Party.
Kudos to Gore.