Vice President Al Gore, speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative yesterday, called on young people to “prevent the construction of new coal plants” through civil disobedience, repeating a call he made last year in an interview with Nick Kristof. At CGI, Gore said:
If you’re a young person, looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now and not done, I believe we’ve reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration.
The New York Times’s Paul Vitello claimed there was only “scattered applause,” despite the boisterous reaction from the crowd.
People, young and old, have been committing acts of civil disobedience against coal plants and mountaintop coal mining across the planet — including England, North Carolina, Wise County and Carbo, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
Bright Green Blog‘s Eoin O’Carroll responds:
Leaving aside whether breaking the law is ever justified, it seems odd that Gore doesn’t seem to include himself in the category of the “young people” he thinks should risk jail to halt global warming. After all, at age 71, Ghandi was arrested and served two years in prison. The US labor organizer Mother Jones was still facing charges of sedition in her 80s. Even TV president Martin Sheen, who is eight years older than Gore, managed to get himself arrested at an antinuclear action in Nevada last year, for what he says is the 65th time.
Climate Progress’s Joe Romm argues, “there is something young people can do that is vastly more important right now — and that is to get politically involved immediately.”