“Former Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to speak this morning to more than 2,000 bloggers and others meeting at the Netroots Nation convention. His appearance here has been kept hush hush, with word only that a mystery guest would be coming on stage after a question-and-answer session with Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House.” Watch a live stream of the conference here.
11:08 AM ET: Moderator Gina Cooper asks Pelosi a question about Gore’s goal to shift America from fossil fuel to renewable energy in 10 years. Pelosi then pretends to check her Blackberry and says that she had recently received an e-mail from the vice president. As a recording of his voice comes on — “In relationship to this question on energy, Dear Nancy, Thursday I issued a challenge to reset our energy commitment…” — Gore walks onstage to a standing ovation and long, sustained applause.
11:18 ET: Gore comments on the absurdity of increased drilling to address global warming. He compares it to an old remedy for a hangover: “the hair of the dog that bit you.” “They’d recommend just going in and having another drink in the morning. That’s sort of what that reminds me of,” said Gore. “When you’re in a hole, stop digging.”
11:25 ET: Dave Roberts at Grist is live-blogging too. He notes Gore argues that “defenders of status quo are the ones who got us in this mess. Ridiculous to open a few more areas for drilling to produce oil in 10 years that will be sold to China. Makes about as much sense as responding to an attack from Afghanistan by invading some other country.”
11:27 ET: Gore praises Netroots Nation, commenting on the excitement of the event: “You will tell them that this was the beginning of an effort that was the start to reclaim the integrity of American democracy.”
11:31 ET: Gore responds to a question about whether he would be willing to serve in the next administration:
I am really honored by the suggestion that some have made that I consider taking a position of some kind in the next administration, and I want to convey my respect for the idea, even as I explain to you why that’s not the best thing for me. … I feel the highest and best use of the talents and experiences I’ve gained in my life is to enlarge the political space for elected officials and cabinet members to address this climate crisis. I’ve seen first hand how important it is to have a base of support for these bold changes. … I’m devoting my life to bringing about a sea change of public opinion across party lines that supports the truly massive policy change that we have to have.
11:35 ET: Gore puts it bluntly: “The idea of turning coal into liquid fuels for our cars is insane.”
11:37 ET: Responding to a question on technology, Pelosi thanks Gore for his work on the issue, stating, “Without him, there would be no Netroots Nation. We would not have the technology. You know that.” Gore jokingly responds, “I think I’ll refrain from saying that.”
11:56 ET: Gore talks about the economics of renewables: “When demand for oil and gas goes up, the price goes up. When the demand for solar and wind goes up, the price goes down.”
12:03 ET: Pelosi responds to a question about Maliki’s comments this morning endorsing Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) plan for withdrawal from Iraq:
On the one hand, the administration is saying that everything is great, security has been achieved in Iraq. On the other hand, we can’t bring our troops home. How does that makes sense? [...]
So with the prime minister saying it’s time for you to go, I think it’s time for our country to sit down with the Iraqis and work that plan out. [We need to be] respectful of what the prime minister says, and respectful of the will of the American people, who have been against this war for a long time. … And we owe it to our troops who are there, and we owe them so much more as we discussed early. … [We should] have a high-level meeting with the Iraqis to work out the terms of our deployment out of iraq. … So, the end could be in sight.