Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Determined & Defiant Al Gore

Al Gore is paying attention to what the 2008 presidential candidates are discussing while in the cross hairs of television reporters lights and mics and their words as transcribed by their print counterparts. He's not happy, he is pissed and ready to do battle on behalf of Earth. On Saturday, the Nobel Peace Prize winner made his thoughts known to the elite of Silicon Valley, entertainment and scientists in Monterey. Two items chafe and chap his hide, debate sponsorship from the Big Brother corporate marketing departments, progenitors of the misnomer "Clean Coal" and the candidates not focusing relentlessly on climate crisis in their presentations to voters during debates. Friday, marked the final debate showdown in Ohio of the primary campaign season between Barack & Hillary.

Gore is especially aggrieved with the Orwellian irony of a coal company saying their product is clean. Gore is not going to let up and in partnership with the Alliance for Climate Protection will take to the airwaves to put the candidates on notice that time is short and he wants straight answers on how they plan to fight Climate Change now and well before November. Any double speak, twisted Orwellian rhetoric or soft selling of the issue is going to come under direct heavy fire from him.
"We have to speak up," Gore said. "We have sclerosis in our democracy. Go on the Internet, connect with people."

Gore said aspiring presidents should guarantee actions including taxes on carbon dioxide and a moratorium on coal-fueled power plants that don't recapture atmosphere-altering gas.

The new president should immediately sign the Kyoto protocol to fight climate change, ending this country's shameful distinction of being the only hold-out, according to Gore.

"We have had any talk on that scale, but I think we will by November," Gore said of focusing candidates on climate change. (AFP Photo)

Gore directly ties the economic effects of extreme poverty to the relentlessness of climate change. Indigenous people with farms the world over that previously sustained a way of life and fed their families from their birthrights are now suffering years long droughts forcing them to become refugees. The UN lists Darfur as being a resource war that will continue to rage on, in part, because of a lack of arable land and fresh water. The UN Millennial project has connected the dots between abject poverty and climate change too. Others are being flooded off of their lands due to soil erosion due to extreme rain from horrible land management and river usage from building massive dams to generate more power. Poisoning of water wells by naturally present arsenic is continuing at an alarming rate as water is mined from ancient aquifers with no hope of replenishment. These and more, lead to the extreme poverty and forced migration caused by climate change.

Gore's solution/plea/demand is a global Marshall Plan on the lines of what George Marshall, Secretary of State and former general, ambitiously offered a battered and devastated Europe to rebuild after WWII. The rise in temperature for Oceans and atmosphere come in large measure from the top three global culprits of emitting greenhouse gases, India, China and the USA, will be pressed about Global Warming solutions at the G8 summit in June by this years leader, Japan, home of Kyoto.

Gore is moving ahead in Silicon Valley to involve a few of the biggest names in technology to assist in combating Climate Change and discuss solutions and his Marshall Plan which should by rights be named the Gore Plan. Cisco's CEO, the 120 words a minute John Chambers, is joining Gore, among others, on March 19th for an electronic town hall with wizardry that will make it seem the panel is at the same location, but they will be thousands of miles and time zones apart, taking questions from the public. (Arctic temps 1981-2007)

Orwell's time as a police authority for the colonial occupying power in Burma really helped shape his thinking leading to his brilliant Animal Farm & 1984. It seems a refresher is not out of place reminding people how Big Brother slowly encroaches to take fundamental freedoms away and limit redress even when the discussion is integrating a country club for officers. George Orwell's, Burmese Days, captures the feel and essence of the times then and can fast forward easily to today. A really great book by Emma Larkin, Finding George Orwell In Burma, is written by one who understood both subject and land to render a richly detailed, searing portrait.

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