Earth to Gore: Time’s up!

Crossposted at Daily Kos and Truth & Progress

Like most of you, my first thought this morning, when I opened my eyes, was “Did he win?” And I came straight here for the answer, only to find ecstatic confirmation in my first bleary glance at the Recommended list. Yes, friends, the dream is beginning to become true, thanks to him, and also thanks to all of you! This is a force 8 tremor on the political Richter scale. But until he announces, his “chances” of entering the race will be endlessly poo-poohed by every Beltway voice, from Right Wing pundits to establishment scribes claiming personal knowledge to unofficial spin easily traceable to the Hillary campaign (Dan Gerstein on Hardball last night, anyone?). But none of all that really matters.

Here is what has to be driving Gore’s decision — and I’m among those who believe that his decision to run, conditional on a “tipping point” being reached in the media-driven public opinion climate in the U.S., was taken a long time ago. A few months back, when Gore was asked if there were any circumstance he could concieve of that would drive him into the race, he answered cryptically but tellingly that he had no idea, “but I’ll know it if I see it”. I’ve always thought that he was referring to two critical factors: the movement he hoped to build actually materializing, and the warnings his contacts in the scientific community had been pressing on him with ever-increasing urgency: that a point of no-return had been reached and the global climate had suddenly shifted gears and revved itself into chaotic, run-away warming.
Well, friends, it seems that both “tipping points” have now been reached, and while the first is cause for celebration, the second is unbelievably frightening:

A key threshold crossed
An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report to be released next month will show that the limit on greenhouse-gases scientists hoped to avert has already been surpassed.

By Gregory M. Lamb
from the October 11, 2007 edition

In Ray Bradbury’s science fiction novel “Fahrenheit 451,” that number represented the temperature at which books would burn (…)

For climate scientists, a similar number, 450 parts per million (ppm), holds its own ominous meaning. It represents a dangerous concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; a total that they were not expecting to be passed for at least another decade.

That sound you just heard is the 10 years that scientists have been warning we had to address this crisis evaporating. We no longer have them. They’re gone. And if we don’t get a move-on, it’s all downhill from here for the human species (and many other living things)

But a new UN-sponsored report, to be released next month, will show that as of 2005 the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere had already reached 455 ppm, according to Tim Flannery, a prominent Australian climate scientist who says he’s seen the raw data that go into the document.

“If you want to stabilise around 450 ppm, that means in a decade or two you have to start reducing emissions far below the current level…. So in other words, we have a very short window for turning around the trend we have in rising greenhouse gas emissions. We don’t have the luxury of time.”

But, says Flannery, named Australian of the Year for 2007, that window is closed. According to the Australian Associated Press he says that higher figure is due to miscalculating the potency of other greenhouse gasses, which are included in the 450 ppm figure and measured in terms equivalent to that of CO2. But he adds:

“[A]lso we have really seen an unexpected acceleration in the rate of accumulation of CO 2 itself, and that’s been beyond the limits of projection … beyond the worst-case scenario. We are already at great risk of dangerous climate change – that’s what the new figures say…. It’s not next year, or next decade; it’s now.

And Al knows this. He’s known it for a while. I’ve been fortunate enough to witness him giving his presentation live, last March, and from the new, unpublished information he revealed, it was obvious, to those who follow climate news closely, that he has deep contacts in the climate research community. And as others here who’ve seen his talk and shared their experience with the rest of us, Gore updates his slideshow DAILY.

Gore is a true leader. As he is reported to have said just yesterday, at a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer, consciousness raising on the issue of global warming must avoid “paralyzing people with fear”. This is what the Bush administration, with the help of Osama bin Laden, has tried to do for the past 7 years, and for the first four, they succeeded. But the antidote to fear is HOPE and that is what Gore is offering. Not only to the American people, but to the rest of the world’s people. Because he CAN lead on this, the most dire threat we humans have ever faced. Because he has the knowledge, the experience of government, the esteem of the world community, the network of allies in every country, and above all the carefully tought-out, long-held vision to lead the effort. Because he can unite us all in the fight, and mobilize the tremendous reserves of human energy that true HOPE can unleash in all of us. Other great leaders have done it before him. Winston Churchill pulled Britain from the brink of capitulation and inspired its people to fight to the death to save their island. He too had warned his countrymen for many years of the dangers of Hitler’s rise, and been scoffed at, ridiculed and dismissed as a has-been by that era’s equivalent of Beltway gasbags. Until he too was proven prescient.

As Gore so often quotes him in his prsentations

The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays is coming to its close. In its place, we are entering an era of consequences.

It’s up to us now, and it’s up to Al. If you elect him, he will unite is and lead us toward a more hopeful future for all our children than we can presently count on. Let’s not allow our blind complacency to continue. Let’s end this futile game of guess-and-catch-up with Mother Nature, once and for all. The Earth is giving us final warning. Our time is up!

Please Draft Al Gore as your President and then let’s get to work! You have no idea of the ripple effect his entering the race will have in countries like mine, where a federal election will soon be held. A Gore win in 2008 will have coat-tails my friends, and bring progressive leaders to the fore up here as well. Let’s all of us unite and help our leaders save a habitable Earth forour and future generations.

38 comments

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  1. I’ll try to post this over there later.

    • Caneel on October 12, 2007 at 16:31

    widen our perspective. Thank you.

    I posted this in another diary here, and begging forgiveness for the repetition:

    What greater effort for peace than to be U.S. president?

    The Nobel committee’s rationale for awarding the prize to Gore and the UN committee is inspiring.

    The efforts by the global community to alter climate change and to what degree will drastically affect our survival. Our willingness to work as a global community is essential to world peace, world survival.

    I cannot envision a greater role for Al Gore than to assume the mantle as a world leader driving this global effort.

    • lezlie on October 12, 2007 at 16:47

    there is so much to do that it will take all of us working together, your country and mine, and all the countries on the earth. In order to have cooperation among nations there must first be trust… and my country, by letting the appointment of George W Bush stand, began the erosion of all trust and respect we had.

    Let us hope that we have gained the wisdom to correct that mistake by embracing anew the man we elected 7 years ago. If Gore decides to run, the ball will be in our court. I hope we have learned what to do with it!

    Thank you for you wonderful essays/diaries this week… I have enjoyed them very much.

    • fatdave on October 12, 2007 at 16:47

    That is the sound a snowball makes as it rolls down a mountain gathering speed and power and crushes a gathering of “little men” at the bottom.

  2. Preface: Just so you don’t get the wrong impression here — this isn’t intended to flame you or Gore.  But the real path to a solution isn’t likely to be with the hero-worship of a guy who is still too timid to criticize the capitalists or their system.  The converse of this equation applies, too.  If Gore came out tomorrow and told us that capitalism’s time was up, that would make him more believable in my eyes, but the corporations would find a way to have him “neutralized.”  They will probably do that anyway.

    Gore is a true leader.

    I see this as a good reason why he won’t make President.  Remember, he’s already won a Presidential election; only it was reported six months after the actual office was stolen from him by vote-count tampering and Supreme Court intervention with nary a complaint by the Democratic Party elite.  You’d think that at this point he knows something about the process that we ourselves don’t know.

    At any rate, IMHO the office of President is more likely to go to a committee man (or woman, in Hillary’s case), someone who is willing to run with the pack that has made it to the top — or shall I say the electoral attic, as the real top is occupied by that 1% of America’s wealthiest who own half of all non-home capital assets.

    As he is reported to have said just yesterday, at a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer, consciousness raising on the issue of global warming must avoid “paralyzing people with fear”

    Indeed.  But then the question becomes one of what solution we are to believe.  Gore needs to be more distinct on this one.

    Other great leaders have done it before him. Winston Churchill pulled Britain from the brink of capitulation and inspired its people to fight to the death to save their island. He too had warned his countrymen for many years of the dangers of Hitler’s rise, and been scoffed at, ridiculed and dismissed as a has-been by that era’s equivalent of Beltway gasbags. Until he too was proven prescient.

    But in that case what we had was one of the leaders of the capitalist “Lockean heartland” fighting off a contender regime for the greater glory of British capitalism. 

    (As a side note: ever notice how in all the histories of WWII the “turning point of the war” is depicted either in Stalingrad or in Egypt, both of which were Hitler’s efforts to get at Mideast oil?  Our current Fearless Leader doubtless imagines himself as a continuation of Churchill’s project, and with good reason…) 

    Of course, he had to fight off a fraction of capital to do this — Hitler had by that time been bankrolled by Wall Street for years.  Al Gore is saying stuff the whole of capital doesn’t want to hear.  From the Monthly Review:

    The truth is that addressing the global warming threat to any appreciable degree would require at the very least a chipping away at the base of the system. The scientific consensus on global warming suggests that what is needed is a 60-80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels in the next few decades in order to avoid catastrophic environmental effects by the end of this century-if not sooner. The threatening nature of such reductions for capitalist economies is apparent in the rather hopeless state at present of the Kyoto Protocol, which required the rich industrial countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The United States, which had steadily increased its carbon dioxide emissions since 1990 despite its repeated promises to limit its emissions, pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol in 2001 on the grounds that it was too costly. Yet, the Kyoto Protocol was never meant to be anything but the first, small, in itself totally inadequate step to curtail emissions. The really big cuts were to follow.

    Al Gore would have to instigate a pretty serious public uprising before running for President if he were to defy the corporate world as such.  I saw him on the “Live Earth”  corporate rock thingy — I have no idea if the intellectually malnourished folk listening to him even understood what he was saying, never mind seeing it as in their interests.  There’s still a long way to go.

  3. only on the means to achieve the end we both see as necessary. As I’ve argued before, endlessly with my son and in passing with you, the vocabulary Gore uses is carefully tailored to fly under the radar and reach the people who can really change the existing paradygm. He is several chess moved ahead of us. Calling a spade a spade at this point would doom his entire endeavour to laughable failure. Mitterand once defined leadership, in an interview for Canadian television, by the word “Convaincre”, the infinitive form of the French verb meaning to persuade. You can’t hope to persuade when you use words that evoke knee-jerk, negative reactions. You don’t get people to open their minds by inciting them to cover their ears. That’s the whole basis of our disagreement.

  4. chance to see your diary.

    Trying to catch my breath a little after learning that Al won the Nobel Peace Prize.  He does these United States proud — like no other. 

    Al has the “cure” that is needed RIGHT NOW — we need only convince him of that and back him to the oomph degree.

    And, I admit, too, it would feel oh so good to see retribution for that which was stolen from him.

    ****

    Corporate America, of course, would do its best to ensure Gore of a failure — so, it would be a rigorous upward climb.  But, hopefully, the majority of Americans are now AWAKE! Or, at least we hope so. (There are still so many Americans that haven’t the foggiest of what is going on!)

    • Lahdee on October 12, 2007 at 18:20

    Speak now or hope for a draftable situation in the summer? Rather hear a yeah or nay now.

    If he runs I wonder what wingnut nation will say. I bet they’re making plans now to smear and minimize his Nobel prize.

  5. Dear (deleted),

    I am deeply honored to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This award is even more meaningful because I have the honor of sharing it with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change–the world’s pre-eminent scientific body devoted to improving our understanding of the climate crisis–a group whose members have worked tirelessly and selflessly for many years. We face a true planetary emergency. The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift global consciousness to a higher level.

    My wife, Tipper, and I will donate 100 percent of the proceeds of the award to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a bipartisan non-profit organization that is devoted to changing public opinion in the U.S. and around the world about the urgency of solving the climate crisis.

    Thank you,

    Al Gore

  6. you the general stupidity that exists in this country.  It is unimaginable to me how anyone, with any modicum of a brain, could attempt to pooh, pooh, downplay or diminish the importance of what Al Gore has done in any way shape or form  — yet, here you have it.

    CNN.com readers sound off on Gore, Nobel Peace Prize

    You see the mentality we have to deal with?

  7. Sponsored by the corporate giant, CNN:

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    Yes 58% 67558 
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  8. with his speech for a Barbara Boxer event last night. He knows that we have to change paths not just politically and national interests. He connect ed global warming to peace and says we need a marshall plan to stop this including wars genocides and greed. I do fear he will not run as polls and stragetgy and the machine have him down to not being able to win the primary just Inevitable is going to win, inevitably. His version of globalism is the one we need.

  9. and pointedly chosen not to make a Shermanesque statement.

    In other words, he’s still not ruling ANYTHING out! If ever there was a time and venue where he could have bowed out, gracefully and giving reasons even his most ardent supporters would grudgingly accept, it was today, at the Alliance for Climate Protection. The Nobel provided him with the perfect foil, to hand the politics of it off to the current field of Dem candidates, with his best wishes, and pledge to continue his work outside politics.

    It would have been the most merciful way to do it, and the one likely to cause the least damage to the morale of the activist base that is trying to draft him.

    He passed up that opportunity, and the way he phrased his own intentions had a lump-in-the-throat quality to it. He knows he’s embarking on a course from which there will be no way back, for better or for worse.

    Now it’s up to youm the American people to carry him forward and be his shield against the attacks that are bound to come from many quarters.

  10. hope he runs.

    • RiaD on October 13, 2007 at 00:04

    Nobel Prize likely to increase pressure on Gore to run

    Run Al, Run!

    • Pluto on October 13, 2007 at 00:45

    I am so surprised at the desperation that so many Democrats have in clammoring for Al Gore to run for President. We have great candidates, already. Plus, Gore’s negatives are huge in the U.S..

    I just don’t think Al Gore would demean his global standing and unique opportunities by hitching his wagon to a socially, morally, and financially bankrupt nation.

    I posted this comment elsewhere:

    A Long, Long Time Ago on a planet far, far away… The United States had power among nations.

    It had a strong currency, leaders of character, wealthy citizens, a high standard of living, hope for the future, vigorous dreams, and the respect of the world.

    In that long ago time, the President of the United States had power and influence in the world. That time is gone and will never return.

    Al Gore is now a Sovereign Individual and a Citizen of the World — and I am certain that he would never debase himself by attaching himself to a spent nation of broken people.

    By remaining an Independent Global Leader — a singular achievement in the history of the world — Al Gore has the opportunity to influence the entire planet toward good.

    He would not (and should not) limit this potential force by associating himself with U.S. politics (a dirty little back alley filled with lesser men).

    Al, Run! And don’t look back!

  11. David Ray Griffin did not win.
    Status quo does win.  Apocalypse very soon.

  12. You will sell me on the concept of man made global warming over my cold dead fingers.

    China and India, carbon emissions exempt are free to do anything they want for the profit margins of the very few elite who financed your world tour.

    The gullibility factor of the majority of the population from a single movie however never ceases to amaze me.

  13. I was somewhat amazed by a response of someone yesterday:  “The environmentalists do not like Gore, because he jets around the world in large jets emitting pollution.”  I said, “What would you have him do?  Travel on a slow boat to China?”  This is just one small example of stupidity!

    Also, to the pundits that say “it just ain’t so as to global warming” — well, let’s put it this way, Al Gore’s affiliations are with the top scientists in the world — but, then, I suppose, you would doubt that, as well!  I can only say G help the naysayers for not understanding our crisis!

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