Archive for July, 2018

PLEASE NOTE: This transcript is being provided for educational purposes only to be used in conjunction with a university course designed to raise awareness of the serious environmental issues that the documentary film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power addresses. The kind understanding of the filmmakers will be appreciated with respect to any copyright issues which may arise, and it is hoped that permission to use this material will be granted so that the message Mr. Al Gore puts forth may be disseminated among the students participating in this course.

Students are encouraged to purchase their own copies of this important documentary on DVD.

Thank you.

Tony Del Vecchio, M.Ed.



U.N. Climate Conference (COP21), Paris, France

Interviewer: Um, so, first off, Mr. Gore… Tell us why you’re here. What’s going on today?

Gore: This is a 24-hour global broadcast that is covered live in every nation around the world. And we are attempting to further mobilize people in every nation to support even more ambitious outcomes in the negotiation that will take place here in Paris just two weeks from now.

Gore: Thank you very much and welcome, everyone, to this global broadcast. So, as I stand here today, now just two weeks from the opening of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change here in Paris, what we need now is for people all over the world to speak out. And that’s what the next 24 hours are all about.

Interviewer: When you want 196 countries to agree, aren’t you afraid of a weak agreement?

Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister and President COP21: Well, it must be an ambitious agreement, not a weak one.

Anne Hidalgo, Mayor, Paris, France: The link between climate change and world peace is clear, so we no longer have the right to not succeed on this.


Terrorist Attack Occurs, Paris, France

Assistant: They’ve asked us to bring your car over by the trailer just in case we need to get you out of here.

Gore: Okay. Is it terrorist related?

Assistant: They don’t know yet. Probably, because there’s several shootings around Paris. There’s several dead people. And, uh, so it’s pretty sure it’s terrorism.

Gore: Police officials in France say there’s been an explosion in a bar near a Paris stadium and a shootout in a Paris restaurant. President Hollande evacuated from Stade de France.”

Assistant: And there are apparently 18 dead, and AFP is reporting hostages at the concert hall.

Gore: Hostages?

Assistant: Yes. That’s all coming from police.

Newscaster #1: Paris terror fear. Multiple people are reported killed in a shooting. There’s also word of possible explosions…

Newscaster #2: Paris is under an effective police state. A curfew is in effect.

Newscaster #3: Police don’t seem to have a full handle exactly what’s going on. But this is exactly the kind of terror scenario that the U.S. has long feared.

Gore: Okay. Before I go on to make my statement, I just want to say something. Those of us who are Americans stand with you. We express our heartfelt condolences for the tragedy here in the city and in your country. This scourge of terrorism in our world… We have to defeat this. But we have to defeat it not only with force of arms, but with the force of our values. Caring about the future and doing what the world needs to do. But, for now, I just wanted to say to all of you, especially those of you from France, what’s in my heart is in the hearts of all the Americans here who love you and care about you and stand with you.

Gore speaking on air: Ladies and gentlemen, we are suspending our broadcast because of the tragedies that have unfolded here.


The fact that those terrible attacks took place in the city where the climate conference was about to begin caused many to connect these two events at a deep level that is difficult to articulate in words. There have been so many times when big setbacks have tempted me to deep despair. But if I can draw upon my faith tradition, God said, “I lay before you a choice between life and death. Therefore, choose life.”


U.N. Climate Conference (COP21) Resumes, Paris, France

U.S. President Barack Obama: We have come to Paris to show our resolve. We offer our condolences, and we salute the people of Paris for insisting this crucial conference go on.

Other World Leaders: To show the world we are a global family in solidarity with the French people… On behalf of the Romanian people, our deepest sympathies… We show our sympathy and solidarity with the government and people of France.

Gore takes the subway to the conference

Gore congratulates new Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: To the development of a low-carbon economy, our government is making climate change a top priority.

Russian President Vladimir Putin: Climate change has become one of the gravest challenges that humanity is facing.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel: We have to achieve a far-reaching decarbonization of our economies

Chinese President Xi Jinping: The agreement should put effective control on the increase of atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases.

UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christina Figueres: Never before has a responsibility so great been in the hands of so few.


One of the secrets of the human condition is that suffering binds us together. Those 150 heads of state were moved to speak in ways I don’t think they otherwise would have. Every one of them began with, first, condolences, and then solidarity. And when they turned, in the next paragraph, to their hopes for the conference, they could not help but say this is an opportunity for us to make that solidarity tangible and real.”


Indian Prime Minister Narenda Modi: Democratic India must grow rapidly to meet the aspirations of 1.25 billion people, 300 million of whom are without access to energy. Energy is a basic human need. And there should be no place for unilateral steps that become economic barriers for others. So, we still need conventional energy, fossil fuel. And anything else will be morally wrong. Thank you.


You know, I’ve been to all of these different climate conferences since 1992.”


Parliamentary Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 1992

Gore speaking at Rio Summit: We parliamentarians have an obligation to accelerate the movement toward meaningful changes in policies in every nation on the face of this Earth to stop the destruction of the global ecological system.


It began with a great deal of optimism in Rio…”



…but it soon bogged down.”


President George W. Bush: The process used to bring nations together to discuss our joint response to climate change is an important one. But a growing population requires more energy to heat and cool our homes. More gas to drive our cars.


COP 6, The Hague, The Netherlands, 2006


For all that time, the world has struggled to get its act together and connect the science to the policy.”


COP 15, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2009


But, for me, the last 20 years was a very painful experience.”



Painful not only because of the lack of a favorable outcome, but also because there was no way in to really take hold of the process and say, ‘Okay, let me help you here.’”



I was relieved when I got to Paris because there were influential men and women from countries around the world, some who’d been through my training program and who asked me to help in the process.”


Gore: I was in India earlier this year, and I think that the emergence of solar electricity as a competitive viable option opens up a pathway that justifies realistic hope.

Christina Figueres, Exec. Secretary UNFCCC: But, you know, I do think that India, well, Prime Minister Modi, has been very, very clear that their concern is not just the existence of technology, but their access to that technology. So… With what trust do they let go of the whole fossil fuel development model that has been paraded in front of them for 150 years, and now we’re saying, “Excuse me, this parade, it’s done. Now we have to build a different parade for you.” It would be most helpful if that focus on renewables can be seen from the developing country’s perspective. But is that something that you could devote some time to while you’re here?

Gore: Of course.


Strategizing on the Indian Reluctance to Commit

Gore: I’m trying to solve an Indian problem, first and foremost. Their plan is to build 400 new dirty coal plants. Uh, and that’s a disaster. When India goes to borrow money to build solar farms or wind farms, they have to pay 13% plus an FX uncertainty. And that is manifestly absurd.

US Congressman: The challenge for us is to find a way to make renewables as cheap as coal, and then partner with them so that we don’t build this huge infrastructure that will continue to provide more carbon dioxide decades in the future.

Gore: India has this plan, 200 gigawatts of coal. I met with their energy and power minister, Piyush Goyal, in Delhi. I asked, what would it take to shift another 100 gigawatts from coal to renewables? His answer was incredibly specific. Access to credit. And, of course, with the future of human civilization in the balance, we should probably ratchet that up a little bit.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry: More than 65% of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world. Now, we’re not pointing fingers. This isn’t a question of blame. But we’re here to change it.

Newscaster: The reason that talks are stalled? Because the U.S. government put countries like India as culprits, as criminals, climate criminals. And I don’t think the U.S. should be allowed to get away with that.

Gore, speaking to assistants: Fabius has asked for an urgent meeting, one on one.They’re getting frustrated at the pace of the negotiations.

Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister, President COP21: We should try to solve the last questions.

Gore: The long-term goal?

Fabius: Well, it’s a question of wording, but obviously there is a discussion because some countries are very reluctant.

Gore: You spend a lot of time each year in India. So my narrow interest is a way around these high interest rates that the Indians are so concerned about in deploying solar and wind.

Nicholas Stern, Former Chief Economist, World Bank: But we’re not going to sort that out in the next couple of days.

Gore: Yeah.


Flooding in Chennai, India, December 2105

Newscaster: The overnight deluge of some 300 millimeters of rain in a span of 18 hours has wreaked havoc.

Newscaster: The news is that it’s only going to get worse and the flood waters are rising.

Newscaster: India’s fourth-largest city was paralyzed by the heaviest rains in more than a hundred years, which cut off more than three million people from basic services for days.

Al Gore: It’s amazing that while we’re here and India is a holdout, they’re having this.

Karenna Gore, Director, Center for Earth Ethics: Part of their thing is that they need more money to deal with it, right? So the sticking point is also on that side in terms of developed countries not wanting to give that money.

Al Gore: Yeah.

Gore speaking at COP21: During the days that we are here in this conference, we have seen a repeat of the pattern of more floods and landslides. Indeed today, in Chennai, these events continue. They have had 1,500 millimeters of rain in the last several weeks alone. Five feet of rain. The number of people who have been killed is in the hundreds. Tens of thousands have been relocated. This is not the first time this has happened. Every storm is different now because of the climate crisis. Prime Minister Modi went from Paris back to Tamil Nadu and said, “We are feeling climate change’s fast-growing impact now.”


Gore, on the phone with Colin Le Duc: No, no, it’s all right. I’m sorry to call you on a Saturday evening. So, the other sticking point is, um, you know, credit at a sufficiently low interest rate to allow India to borrow. Uh, and… But that’s a separate issue. So, here is the idea that I had. Elon has a record of giving up IP on some of the core aspects in Tesla. You know, you take it and do what you can with it. I talked to President Hollande about it also. I didn’t mention the company, uh, but I mentioned the general idea. Hollande and Ban Ki-moon, and I’m sure, at least at the ministerial level, with India, we could have, uh, you know, halo equity for SolarCity that would be incredible. But before I call Lyndon or Elon, I wanted to run it by you…Yeah, would you, please? And also send me Lyndon’s cell phone if you have it.

Gore, speaking to Lyndon Rive, CEO and Co-founder, Solar City: Lyndon? Hi, it’s Al Gore. I have a big idea for you. SolarCity could be the corporate hero of Paris by announcing that it will give the technology to the new world-champion solar cell to India…Well, here’s the logic for it, Lyndon. The big holdout here in the negotiations is India…Yeah, but that’s up to them, okay? That’s up to them…I’m talking about breaking the impasse and getting them over the hump…Give it some thought, my friend. Bye.

Gore: So he swallowed hard and said, “Ugh, I might have to think about that.”

Newscaster: It’s crunch time at the climate change conference in Paris. With a deadline for a deal fast approaching, it’s clear that…


Commentator: There’s still some really tough negotiations going on among developed and developing nations. There is an argument about who’s responsible for climate change, who should pay for the consequences.

Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly: What do you think of the global warming summit in Paris this week?

Then Presidential candidate Donald Trump: I think it’s ridiculous. We have bigger problems right now. To have the President be there for an extended period of time talking about global warming being the biggest problem facing this country is insane. He ought to get back to work and solve the ISIS problem.

Gore talking to Indian Minister for Energy and Power Piyush Goyal: So, Mr. Minister, John Kerry asked me to talk with you and explain some of the details on this extraordinary gift being proposed by, uh, the premier solar energy company in the United States.

It’s a hybrid polysilicon… And this is, uh…It is a “silicon-based bifacial PV cell that combines n-type substrates, copper electrodes, thin-film passivation layers and a tunneling oxide layer that yields high conversion efficiencies.”

And if, in return for this, India remove its potential objections to the climate treaty, then he said SolarCity would be willing to do this.


Climate Leadership Training, Houston, Texas


Gore: Is there any precedent for a technology transfer to happen so quickly? Well, you all know about computer chips, but let’s take a more mundane example. Uh, cell phones.

Back around 1980, I was in the House of Representatives, and I was so excited to buy one of the very first mobile phones. Honestly, I felt that thing was so cool.

And now there are more mobile phones than there are people in the world. Most of it in developing countries that had no landline telephone grid. And so they could leapfrog and get telephone service for the first time.

Well, guess what? There are a lot of countries where the landline electricity grids are not so great.

In Africa.

In the Indian subcontinent.

Now we’re seeing this instead: Solar panels. This one in Africa’s on the roof of a grass hut.

Parents want their children to have access to the universe of information.

Chile. A developing country, but it has great policy. You talk about excitement, this story gets me excited. At the end of 2013, they had 11 megawatts of solar. By the end of 2014, more than 400 megawatts. By the end of last year, more than 800 megawatts.

So look at what they have under construction this year and under contract to soon begin construction. Isn’t that great? I love this. 13.3 gigawatts!

And there are other countries and many regions in the world that are poised for this kind of breakout. We are seeing a real turning here.

On a global basis, the world gets more energy from the sun each hour than the entire global economy uses for an entire year. If we increase the fraction of that that we harvest and use productively, then we can solve that part of the climate crisis.

Newscaster:There’s been a lot of discussion between India and U.S. We know that President Obama did make a call to Prime Minister Modi. What the outcomes were of those talks, we don’t know yet. What we do know is John Kerry has been having repeated discussions. There was a one-hour meeting today with the environment minister. How all this translates into India’s concerns being met still remains to be seen.


U.N. Climate Conference (COP21) Resumes, Paris, France

Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar: Today is a historic day. We have, in the spirit of compromise, agreed on a number of phrases. And we have not only an agreement, but we have written a new chapter of hope in the lives of seven billion people on the planet. We hope that Paris will reassure this future generation that we all together will mitigate the challenge posed by climate change, and we will give them a better Earth. Thank you. Merci beaucoup.

Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister, President COP21:L’accord de Paris pour le climat est accept.

Christina Figueres, Exec. Secretary UNFCCC: We started this COP commemorating those fallen in tragic deaths. We end this COP celebrating a new chapter of hope for the world.

Gore: This is exciting. It’s very exciting.

Minister Prakash Javadekar: Your initiative was very important.

Gore: Yes, thank you, sir.

Minister Prakash Javadekar: Very nice.

Gore: Thank you. I’m glad it helped.

Gore: The Paris Agreement would not have happened without President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, President Hollande of France. Without a lot of people who worked hard on that. Virtually every nation in the entire world agreed to get to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as early in the second half of this century as possible.

This sends a signal to markets, sends a signal to investors.

And it resulted in the largest solar loan in the history of the world to help India move forward more quickly in its installation of solar.

It needs continuing work. And one of the reasons your role is so important is to hold them to what they’ve agreed to and to keep the pressure on. Because even with all the agreements put together, it’s still not enough. But the basis is there to ramp up and make more progress.

There are cities in the U.S. that have already reached the goal of 100% renewable energy. Rock Port, Missouri. Greensburg, Kansas. They were destroyed by an F5 tornado, and when they built back, they said, “Hey, let’s go 100% renewable,” and they have.

Right here in Houston, the home of the global oil and gas industry, you’ll hear a lot of people say, “Wind and solar’s nice, but it won’t really lead anywhere.”

And a lot of people are now saying that is a strange new form of denial.

But look at what’s happening in Georgetown, Texas.

Gore: Howdy!

Dale Ross, Mayor, Georgetown, Texas: Howdy, Mr. Vice President Gore.

Gore: How are you, Mr. Mayor?

Ross: Welcome to the greatest city on Planet Earth.

Gore: Spoken like a good mayor.

Gore: So, how long have you been mayor?

Ross: I have been mayor for two years. This green energy initiative started when I was on council in 2008.

 Gore: I remember that. Mmm-hmm.

Ross: And the direction that we gave to Chris and crew was, in 2008, we said by 2030 we want our energy portfolio to be 30% renewable energy.

Gore: Yeah.

Ross: Well, they’ve sort of blown by that.

Gore: That was ambitious at that time, anyway.

Ross: It was! Absolutely. Currently we’re 90% renewable energy. We’re getting our wind out of Amarillo. Our solar farm’s being built out in west Texas. It should be up and running next spring. And currently, we will be the first city in Texas to be 100% renewable. And when we go 100% renewable, we will be the largest city in the country that’s renewable energy at 100%.

Gore: So, I assume that the reason you did this is that the two of you are just rabid environmentalists.

Ross: Well, not exactly, because, um, you’re in Georgetown, which is the reddest city in the reddest county in Texas, and I’m a conservative Republican. But our duty to our ratepayers is to provide them with the lowest possible utility cost.

Gore: And money talks.

Ross: But then, wouldn’t it just make sense from a common-sense standpoint, the less stuff you put in the air, the better it is?

Gore: Yeah.

Ross: I mean, common sense. You don’t need scientists to debate that.

Gore: Can I use that line?

Ross: You absolutely can.

Ross: Hey, let me tell you what. You would be the sport of all sports if somebody could get a picture of me and Mr. Vice President?

Assistant: That’s just for personal use, right?

Ross: Oh, yeah.

Gore: All right, here we go.

Ross: Come on.

Gore: Here’s your camera right there…Now, this is not an endorsement, as you can well imagine.

Gore: Hi, how are you?

Beth Wade, Editor, Community Impact newspaper:  Hi, Beth Wade, Community Impact newspaper.

Gore: Pleasure. Pleasure.

Reporter: You think this city can be a trailblazer for other cities of like size?

Gore: Definitely. Now, not every city has a CPA as a mayor, so that’s another advantage for you. But when other cities really look at the facts, I think you’re gonna see  a massive wave switching over to pollution-free renewable energy.

Ross: Well, what we always say is, don’t we have a moral and ethical obligation to leave the planet better than we found it?

Gore: You better be careful talking like that.


Launch of DSCOVR Satellite, February 11, 2015

Announcer at Cape Canaveral, Florida: T-minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5,  4, 3, 2, 1, 0. Liftoff of the Falcon 9.

Announcer at Cape Canaveral, Florida: Falcon 9 has cleared the towers. The Falcon takes flight, propelling the Deep Space Climate Observatory DSCOVR on a million-mile journey to protect our Planet Earth.



 When President Obama was elected, I went to see him and told him the story of the DSCOVR satellite and how it was cancelled. And he allocated the money, and it finally got launched.”



Announcer at Cape Canaveral, Florida: Second stage engine ignition has occurred on time.


Gore: Remember, when I mentioned the Blue Marble, it was the only photograph of its kind.

But here’s one from the first week of last December.

This was taken by a brand-new NASA and NOAA satellite called DSCOVR that orbits the sun along with the Earth and the scientists are learning so much. For example, for the first time they’re learning about the real energy balance of the Earth. Energy in and energy out.

Don’t let anybody tell you that we’re gonna get on rocket ships and go to Mars and live in hermetically sealed buildings. We couldn’t even evacuate the city of New Orleans when the hurricane hit there. This is our home.


Newscaster: Delegates at the United Nations Climate Summit are expressing panic over Tuesday’s election results, saying President-elect Donald Trump may threaten the future of any international agreement to slow catastrophic climate change.

Newscaster: Trump has said he will “cancel the Paris Climate Agreement” and also promised to promote coal power and fracking, and says he will allow for oil and gas drilling on federal land.



A famous boxer once said, “Everybody has a plan until he gets punched in the face.”


C-Span Newscaster: Days into his presidency, Donald Trump is sending chills down the spines of environmentalists and some EPA employees. This trifecta of cabinet appointments, all staunch fossil fuel supporters who’ve expressed doubts about the urgency of climate change.



For all the years I’ve been involved in this struggle, there have been lots of setbacks. So now we have another one.”



With all these new threats, there’s never been a more important time to speak truth to power. I do my best to speak for the public interest in solving the climate crisis. Even though it sounds a little highfalutin, I try to answer to the truth of what needs to be done. And each of us, in our own ways, has the obligation and some ability to feel what is more likely to be true than not. And if you work hard enough to get the best available evidence, you can feel if you’re onto what the right thing is. And that’s not arrogance, that’s just a feeling that I think everybody is familiar with. And I’ve been working on this issue long enough that I feel very, very deeply about what the right thing is. I’m not confused about it.”





Gore: I remember vividly when the Civil Rights Movement first began to pick up steam. We saw Bull Connor turning fire hoses on young African-American kids, and we asked the older generation why it’s just and fair to have laws that discriminate on the basis of skin color. And when they couldn’t answer that question, the laws began to change. This movement to solve the climate crisis is in the tradition of every great moral movement that has advanced the cause of humankind. And every single one of them has met with resistance to the point where many of the advocates felt despair and wondered, “How long is this gonna take?” Martin Luther King famously answered a question during some of the bleakest hours of the Civil Rights Movement, when someone asked, “How long is this gonna take?” He said, “How long? Not long. Because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long. Because the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice. How long? Not long.” We are close in this movement. We are very close to the tipping point beyond which this movement, like the abolition movement, like the women’s suffrage movement, like the Civil Rights Movement, like the anti-apartheid movement, like the movement for gay rights, is resolved into a choice between right and wrong. And because of who we are as human beings, the outcome is foreordained. And it is right to save the future for humanity! It is wrong to pollute this Earth and destroy the climate balance! It is right to give hope to the future generation! It will not be easy. And we, too, in this movement will encounter a series of no’s. The great American poet Wallace Stevens, in the last century, one of his lines was this, “After the last no comes a yes. And on that yes the future world depends.” Bye-bye, guys. Thank you!





If our leaders refuse to lead, citizens of the world will.


Thousands of Al Gore’s climate trainees are now leaders in the movement.


And many more are rising up.


Take the pledge to #BeInconvenient

And join the millions who are stepping up to solve the climate crisis.


Use your choice/voice/vote.


Convince your town/city/business/university/school to switch to 100% renewable energy.



Because your world depends on it.


~ End of Part Three ~


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