Gore’s PoznaÅ„ speech is online: “We cannot negotiate with the facts.”

Gore’s terrific speech is here. Note: It plays for a minute and then stops. It takes 2 minutes for the video to buffer, then works fine. The last 10 minutes are here:

Gore, however, is not correct when he says “the early steps” for achieving 350 ppm are “very similar” to those for achieving 450 ppm (see “An open letter to James Hansen on the real truth about stabilizing at 350 ppm“). In fact, it is the later steps, say post-2030, that could be similar, but only if the actions in the first two decades are radically different.

McKibben’s report on the speech is here.

21 Responses to Gore’s PoznaÅ„ speech is online: “We cannot negotiate with the facts.”

  1. paulm says:

    “Gore, however, is not correct when he says “the early steps” for achieving 350 ppm are “very similar” to those for achieving 450 ppm”

    Depends on what you define as a step.

  2. Steve Bloom says:

    Joe, I supect what Gore means is that with either goal we would want to pick the proverbial low-hanging fruit first (e.g. residential building efficiency retrofits, a sprawl ban, etc.). Until we’re underway with such steps it’s pointless to argue about the difference between 350 and 450.

  3. alex says:

    How come the EU (with half the per-capita CO2 of the US) is able to commit to a 20% reduction by 2020 while the US sits on its hands?

  4. hapa says:

    steps. i suspect by “same steps” al is talking about building the political force to do the thing. the social engineering of the common purpose — getting people to that point of “what do i need to do” without the BAU limiter “and how do i fit it into the fine needlework of my existing obligations.”

    for instance. the speech was so good in so many ways but to me the most important part was the call for world leaders to meet several times between now and copenhagen. this is right for coordinated ecological/economic recovery. the operating schedule now is measured in months not years, and years not decades.

    my favorite little bit from the coverage i’ve seen otherwise was a call for the IPCC to reconvene in a hurry this coming year to summarize 2005-2008 for official use. another months-not-years issue.

  5. Johnny Rook says:

    Just a heads up. I couldn’t get the video to work in Firefox and had to switch Internet Explorer.

    Blogging for the future at Climaticide Chronicles

  6. John Hollenberg says:

    Couldn’t get it to work in Firefox either. Will try IE. Thanks.

  7. Harold Pierce Jr says:

    Attn alex

    The simple reason the US sits on its hands is most people west of the Hudson river have not experiened any global warming or climate change. That is to say, they have not experienced any distinct and perment change in the pattern of weather. We Westeners do not trust the Eastern LIberal Establishment, because they are always trying to rip us off, especially those in New York City!

    As a matter of fact there a great many regions on the earth where the mean annual temperature has remained constant for over a century such as Alice Springs, AU.

    Go, click on “What the Station Say” and on “Station Temperature Data”, and check out the temperature-time plots for the remote weather stations where there is no factors that can bias the data. Also read “Badwater”. He excludes all urban and poorly sited (e.g., airport) weather stations from his analyses.

  8. alex says:

    HP, The John-Daly data is for individual stations. The variability in an individual station’s data far exceeds the relatively small temperature changes which are observed by aggregating all data globally, so in the context of climate change is meaningless.

    The best places to look for direct evidence of global warming is in glacier retreat and and polar ice retreat. Ice (melt) acts as a long term accumulator of heat so is the best indicator of the long term trend.

    [JR: Sorry. Somehow I missed this. Been getting a lot of comments.]

  9. Brewster says:


    Did anyone “west of the Hudson” notice, say, any unusual flooding? Like two “Flood of the Century”‘s in just a couple of years? Or maybe a wildfire or two? Or the odd hurricane?

    Or maybe a drought here or there?

  10. hapa says:

    i live in california and i noticed those things and beetles, snowpack loss, and fish population changes besides.

  11. Stuart says:

    Up around Lake Superior we have seen significant changes – and the lake itself is warming faster than the land around it due to lack of winter ice. See Jay Austin’s paper: here

  12. Dano says:

    Harold Pierce, us unwashed living in the Rocky Mt West apparently have misled eyes: see, we out here see declining snowpack, more episodic rainfall, warmer winters…gosh…our eyes are part of the lib’rullllll conspiracy too!!! Golly, what to we do?!?



  13. alex says:

    Message to Joe,

    I see that the message I posted some 30 hours ago is still marked for moderation. This means that I can see it but no-one else.


    If you continue to pre-mod my comments then there is no point in me posting them, as they will not appear until long after the thread has been buried by new ones. I could understand you censuring my comments if I was a “denier” but that is absolutley not the case. I am however highly critical of US politics which seems to be designed to provide the US with a permanent excuse for inaction. Is that why you censure me?

    It’s not much of a blog if you only allow people to comment if they agree with you, your party, your sponsors and your country.

    [JR: You are on moderation. Sometimes I miss one. No conspiracy.]

  14. Bob Wallace says:

    alex – how can you possibly think that the majority of Americans agree with the actions of the current administration? Surely you read the news from time to time.

    Are you not aware that we’re stuck with this pos for a few more weeks and that we massively voted in a major change of direction?

    Watch what happens when our new guys take over.

    Hope you folks there in Old Europe can keep up…. ;o)

  15. Richard C says:

    Bob, that last comment was meant to be ironic, right?

  16. alex says:

    Bob W – Bush got in not once but TWICE. (OK, it was a bit of a fiddle…). They say people get the governments they deserve and maybe Bush DID somehow resonate with a good chunk of the American electorate.

    Bush and the US make an easy climate change target for we foreigners but in reality there is not much positive action going on anywhere. If Obama can kick start some real action on CO2 emissions then fantastic. I’m not holding my breath.

  17. alex says:

    [JR: You are on moderation. Sometimes I miss one. No conspiracy.]

    Joe, why am I on moderation? Is everyone on moderation or just people with opinions?

    [JR: Very few people end up on moderation — maybe 1 in 50. I previously explained to you why you are on moderation. There are three things that will get someone on moderation: repeated use of ad hominems, repeated pushing of long-debunked denier talking points, and misstating what I just wrote (and then attacking the misstatement). You did the latter, more than once. Anyway, virtually all of your posts get through quickly, but just keep in mind that sometimes I don’t check comments after dinner and you are at a different time zone, so it is possible you might not get posted for 12 hours, and if there were a lot of comments in between, then I might accidentally, just once, miss your comment entirely.]

  18. Jonas says:

    So why does only talk about 450 as a good target?

    Nowhere on that entire website are the steps discussed that get us to 350. It only talks about some wind, solar etc… all the stuff that never gets us to 350 (logically so, because these are carbon-neutral technologies).

    In order to get to 350, Hansen is clear – we need:

    -biomass coupled to CCS

    Nothing else.

    So a website devoted to 350ppm should only talk about these three. Else, it’s just another 450-is-ok website.

    Perhaps the guys behind 350 should know that we are currently at 387ppm. That is: we need to scratch CO2 out of the atmosphere. You don’t do that with carbon-neutral technology. You do that with trees (and their conversion).

    So 350 should be all about biomass. About nothing else.

    And Gore too.

  19. alex says:


    I don’t think I mis-state what you write exactly. It’s more that I disagree some of your basic premises and because of that I disagree with many of your themes and conclusions. I see you as what is generally labelled a “technofixer” – i.e. that all our CO2 emission problems can be fixed by somehow nudging the market towards low-carbon technologies. I just fundamentally disagree with this starting point. There is no real reason to suppose that technologies such as CSP, PHEV’s and the like will actually cause the world as a whole to turn its back on coal, oil and gas and I firmly believe that we will continue to consume these resources until they are exhausted (even if we do some ‘green’ things in parallel).

    I would find your blog more interesting and relevant if you spent more time discussing the global political issues. What are your views on contraction and convergence? How do we get poor developing countries to not follow us down the high-carbon road? How do we stop deforestation? How do we achieve the overriding goal of leaving most of the remaining coal, oil sands, heavy oil, etc. in the ground?

    Is your ‘grand vision’ to develop some nifty US green technology and export it to the world, thus simultaneously fixing climate change and the US economy? If so I really need to go somewhere else.

    [JR: You might try reading some of my blog or the links I give to my explanation of the “solution.” The lines above that I have italicized seem to be in conflict. The only possible way of getting the world to leave most of the coal oil sands etc. in the ground, is plausible substitutes, which are of course technologies — hence the techno-fix. Indeed, if we didn’t have alternative energy technologies that delivered the same energy services with 90% lower emissions, the only other solution would be to voluntarily use 90% less energy, a solution don’t think you are proposing.

    But if you actually read this blog, you would know I spent a great deal of time discussing the political issues surrounding changing national and global energy policy. I also discuss things related to persuasion, psychology, and the like.

    Also If you read this blog, you’d know that the technology has already been develop — and not just by the U.S., so I just don’t get your point there. I don’t think “nudging” will work — as I have made clear over and over again. We need a WWII scale effort.

    I focus on U.S. politics because that is what I (somewhat) understand after a lifetime participating in it and studying in it. This is an “insider’s” view by someone who understands climate science and energy and US politics, not the view of an expert in international affairs.

    Frankly, your criticism above is quite muddled, as you’ll see if you read it again. This blog certainly isn’t for everybody, but readership doubled this year, so I will take that as a good sign I’m on the right track.]

  20. Peter Wood says:


    If we were to end all emissions overnight, then it has been predicted that we will eventually return to 300ppm CO2. So activities that actively sequester carbon are not necessarily needed, but are almost certainly going to be needed in any practical solution.

  21. David B. Benson says:

    Jonas — May not be enough biomass growing potential for those techniques to be a sole solution. There are other CO2 removel techniques which appear to be much less expensive and can be operated at any scale.

    Peter Wood — Yes, but not for a very, very long time. See David Archer’s “The Long Thaw” or some of his papers on the website.