29 Responses to Gore calls for civil disobedience to stop coal. But will he lead like Gandhi and King?
“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 have 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,” Gore told the Clinton Global Initiative gathering to loud applause.
I’m a big fan of the Veep, but there is something young people can do that is vastly more important right now — and that is to get politically involved immediately. If you are too young to vote, you can still knock on doors.
Yes, the CGI is nominally nonpolitical. Fine, don’t mention which candidate is most committed to solving the problem. Everybody already knows — well, almost everybody (see “Clinton Global Initiative jumps the shark, invites McCain to keynote on Energy Solutions“). Okay, so Gore will have to spell out exactly who in another speech. Fine.
I am all for civil disobedience. But this isn’t the civil rights movement or the struggle for India’s independence, where you are appealing to a general populace that will be impressed by the nonviolence of a mass of marchers and shocked by the response of a brutal establishment. Thus, the scale and nature of the problem makes civil disobedience at best a weak solution to the climate crisis — with one possible exception.
Civil rights had Dr. King and India had Gandhi to create a mass movement. If Gore really believes that civil disobedience is an important strategy — then he needs to lead the effort and go chain himself to some fences and sit in front of some bulldozers with thousands of others. If he won’t, then this is all just talk. Gandhi and King certainly never sat around with a bunch of world leaders in a big, fancy hotel and urged others to do that which they were not prepared to do any time or any place, over and over again, until the cause was won.
Gore made some other interesting statements, including a reference to Martin Luthor King. It’s Getting Hot in Here live blogged Gore’s CGI session with Bill Clinton:
11:24 Clinton asks Gore to tell everyone what investors/politicians should do in regard to energy/climate, and how to overcome political and financial difficulties.
11:25 Gore acknowledges all in the room and offers what appears to be very sincere thanks to Clinton for hosting the Clinton Global Initiative.
11:26 Gore: “Current economic crisis was triggered by the sudden collapse of an assumption. The assumption was that if you lumped housing loans together (even bad ones), you could eliminate the risk. That assumption went splat this week.”
NOW is the time to prevent a much worse catastrophe based on an even bigger assumption.
“Since we met here last year (at CGI) we are losing badly in the fight against global warming”
11:28 References all the natural disasters – from hurricanes to fires in the US and Carribbean this year.
For every 1 degree in temperature increase there will be a 10x increase in lightning strikes.
Warming means less or no more frost in certain areas, which means more bugs/pests running rampant that we can’t control; throwing off our ecosystem. (haven’t heard him use this point before.
“This is all the result of an insane approach to climate”
“We as a species have to make a decision.”
“The economic crisis can truly provide an opportunity to make the right decisions.”
“We should stop burning coal!”
Compares clean coal to what happened on Wall Street. Clean coal is an illusion. Do not invest in it.
“Coal industries spending millions to sell an illusion (like Wall St.) of clean coal.”
11:30 “CLEAN COAL DOES NOT EXIST.”
“The only demo was discontinued. How many plants are there? Zero. How many blueprints: ZERO.”
“We should make a one-off investment into a new global energy infrastructure that is based on energy which is free forever. The sun. Wind…”
“Wind is competitive today. Geothermal is competitive today.”
We need a new super grid to take energy from where wind blows and the sun shines to where people live.
Darfur has more reliable sunshine than just about anywhere else. We can invest in these places and bring that energy to where population centers are.
Create jobs in building this grid, wind turbines,solar panels.
As MLK Jr said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
“Well, increased CO2 anywhere is a threat to civilization everywhere.”
“TODAY the US Congress is voting on a bill without ANY debate an energy policy that lifts moratorium on coal shale. This is utter insanity.”
Re: Clinton Global “Every year we have a discussion here, and there is progress made. But it’s not enough. It’s not enough.”
11:37 Clinton: One very specific question. “Just completed an interesting tour of our country’.” Lots of places that the wind is blowing (ref small TX town where wind at 56 mph), but there’s no grid to take the energy anywhere.
Question: What’s the quickest way to maximize solar and wind energy (and geothermal) production for the US.
Gore: Currently there is $120bn lost annually because of failures of current grid. Needs to be replaced anyway.
Crazy enough, “can also use that SAME GRID to develop a next generation broadband network.” Everyone wins.
New super grid “should be #1 infrastructure project of this decade – whoever is elected president.”
Clinton: 2 year wait to build new wind in New York for one investor (can’t hear name).
We need to change policy and incentives now to get these things going.
Gore: Stock traders that inform investors that global warming doesn’t prevent a threat are guilty of a form of stock fraud.
This is a crisis that is happening NOW. Scientists around the world are practically screaming from the rooftops to stop it.
“If you’re a young person, I believe we’ve reached a point of civil disobedience” …to do things like take down coal plants
Great stuff, though again I’m not sure why only young people should be participating in civil disobedience.
The time for everyone to act is now.
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