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Archive for the ‘13. An Inconvenient Sequel – Part 2’ Category

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.

***

Carthage, Tennessee

This house was my home when I was growing up as a boy.

My mother and father built it.

LBJ came to this farm. He fell out with my dad when my dad became one of the leading opponents of the Vietnam War, but they served in the Senate together a long time.

Here’s a picture of my dad doing Meet the Press, and… Then, many years later, me doing Meet the Press.

Here’s a, uh, handwritten note that my second-oldest daughter, Kristin, wrote back in 1987, when we had a family meeting to go over whether or not I should run for President. It’s divided into good parts and bad parts. “Number 1: Wants to do it.” “Number 2: Has a good chance.” “Number 3: A lot of people who know the other candidates don’t like them.” “He might get elected.” “It would be a good time to run things.” “He thinks he could solve problems.” The bad points. “Number 1: He would not be here a lot.” “Number 2: It would be hard to get more publicity than some of the others.” “Number 3: Would not like to have Social Security around all the time.” Meaning the Secret Service, of course.

Gore (giving concession speech after losing the 2000 U.S. Presidential Election): Just moments ago, I spoke with George W. Bush and congratulated him on becoming the 43rd President of the United States. Neither he nor I anticipated this long and difficult road. Let there be no doubt while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the Electoral College. And tonight, for the sake of our unity as a people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.

 

I had a detailed plan for my life. But it turned out that life had a different plan for me.

Climate Leadership Training, Houston, Texas

Gore (addressing training session attendees): You know, anybody who decides to be a part of helping to solve the climate crisis has a constant struggle between hope and despair. And so when you see these slides about all the damage that’s being done, hang on, because hope is coming. Don’t sink too low! Despair can be paralyzing. But we’re building up speed and we’re seeing a tremendous amount of positive change that gives me the optimism that I feel about this. Let me give you some exciting examples. Look at wind.

 

One day this month, Scotland got 100% of its electricity from wind.

 

In Portugal, they had four days straight last May on renewable energy alone.

 

And on a global basis, wind alone can supply 40 times the entire global demand for energy.

 

But let’s look at solar. This, to me, is the most exciting new development. Fourteen years ago the best projections available were that we would be able to install worldwide one gigawatt of solar electricity per year. Well, when 2010 arrived, we beat that goal by 17 times over. Last year, we beat that goal 58 times over. This year, we’re on track to beat that goal 73 times over.

 

This is an exponential curve, and it is astonishing!

 

And it continues to go up at a steeper rate because the cost of silicon solar cells continues to go down. I wish that every state would encourage solar.

 

Including Florida. You know, Florida’s called the Sunshine State? The head of the second biggest fossil fuel utility there was actually quoted as saying, “Yes, we’re the Sunshine State, but, remember, we’re also the partly cloudy state.” And they have lobbied the state legislature to basically make it illegal to lease a solar panel for your rooftop from anybody but the fossil fuel-burning utility! And they’re trying to use their legacy political power to bend the politicians to their will. What the public wants doesn’t seem to matter. It’s pathetic!

 

New York City, New York

MSNBC Journalist Lester Holt: In Campaign 2016 segment tonight, an interview with Donald Trump.

Donald Trump: Not a believer in global warming. Obama thinks it’s the number one problem of the world today, and I think it’s very low on the list.

Holt: If you were President, would you invest a lot of money in alternative energy to get away from fossil fuels?

Trump: Now solar always sounds better than it is. You know, you get your money back in 36 years. The problem is the panels destroy themselves after ten years.

 

Gore: Hey!

Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General for the State of New York: Hey, Mr. Vice President, thank you so much for coming.

Gore: Thank you.

 Schneiderman: So, we’re in relatively early stages of the investigation, but some of these companies and the denial organizations and groups like the American Petroleum Institute have been actively seeking to distort the market, to suppress investment in renewables through this relatively new line of propaganda, which is, “Even if everything Al Gore’s been saying since the ’80s is true, it’s gonna cost so much money, it’s gonna cripple the economy.” It’s an insidious theme that we’ve seen before, but it’s coming back with a new force. And I think that this is something we’re focusing on very intently. We want to know who the groups are who are doing this, what is their analysis, what’s the science, and what are the government actions that are being taken?

Gore: Assuming for the moment that the facts prove that’s what they did, that’s a violation of the law, isn’t it?

Schneiderman: That’s consumer and securities fraud. But it’s clear that what they’ve done is essentially tried to cripple our ability, mankind’s ability, to respond to this existential threat.

Silicon Valley, California

Gore: A few days ago, the Attorney General of the State of New York launched an investigation of ExxonMobil for fraud and funneling money to this new form of denial where people are out there minimizing solar, saying, “It’s not going anywhere. Why are you wasting your time on this?” Et cetera.

Marco Krapels, Executive Vice President, Solar City:  Utility monopolies really, really fear disruption, and have woken up and said, “Wow, this solar thing,” “I need to crush it before it kills me.” The last two weeks, we had 55,000 people sign up in Nevada to say, you know, “I want choice, I want energy freedom.”

Lyndon Rive, CEO and Co-founder, Solar City: What happened in Nevada will send a massive message to the rest of the country.

Gore: Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

 

Solar City, Quarterly Company Meeting

Gore: Thank you. Will there be bumps in the road? You bet there will be. But, at the end of the day, you really are on the front lines. On the rooftops, if you will. And we’re seeing this play out in every part of the world.

 

♦ Climate Leadership Training, Shenzen, China

Gore: We’ve had 150 years of burning fossil fuels with the many blessings, poverty’s gone down, living standards have increased.

So naturally, there still are some people that say, “Well, we just have to keep relying on oil and gas and even coal.” But it is worth pointing out that in northern China, life expectancy has gone down five and a half years because of air pollution.

And in Beijing, the mayor said, “My city is not livable.”

But in many parts of China it is already cheaper to get electricity from solar and wind. So this is the time when your presentations can provide support for your government’s determination to do even better with renewable energy.

 

U.S. State Department, Washington, D.C.

Gore: There are so many commitments that governments are thinking about making right now for hundreds of new coal plants. Even as the revolutionary drop in cost from renewables is picking up speed.

John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State: China’s one of these countries. And there are numbers of others. India, others. Unfortunately, they’ve looked at the price of coal. They see the price low, and they feel they’re compelled therefore to try to provide for their people. So if India proceeds to build the number of plants it is currently planning, and they are coal fired, it can erase everything everybody else is trying to do in terms of reductions.

Gore: We’ve got to figure out a way to crack that nut.

Kerry: Absolutely.

 

Radio Newscaster: Now, climate change is high on world leaders’ agendas. And that’s because the crucial U.N. talks in Paris start in less than two months, when the world gets together to try to agree on a global deal. One of the sticking points remains financing.

 

My agenda is dominated right now by the preparations for the climate conference in Paris. The world’s been preparing for it a long time. And the main objective is to speed up the transition to renewable energy, so that the entire world can bring down the pollution levels while continuing to reduce poverty. But there is still a big divide between rich countries and poor countries.”

 

Delhi, India

Gore: So, thank you for arranging this, and for the privilege of talking with you. As you know, I have this passion for solving the climate crisis that goes back 40 years. And… Because I have studied it so closely, I’m hoping that the United States and India will accelerate our transitions to renewable energy together.

 

Pyush Goyal, Minister of State for Energy and Power: India has always looked at the United States as a valuable partner. But sadly, the Western world, the developed world does not seem to be coming forth with significant amounts of support. And seems to be creating more impediments. All this talk about supporting climate change seems to be only talk, and there’s hardly any action on that.

Gore: In the U.S.?

Goyal: Yeah, from the U.S.

Gore: I don’t think it’s fair, with all due respect, if I may?

Goyal: Sure, please.

 

Gore: Well, in the U.S. in calendar year 2015, if you look at the investments in the U.S. in the building of new electric generating capacity, three-quarters is from solar and wind.

Goyal: May I respond to that?

Gore: Yes. Please.

Goyal: I’ll do the same thing after 150 years. After I’ve used my coal. After I’ve got my people jobs. After I’ve created my infrastructure and highways and roads. When I have technology. When my people earn $50,000-$70,000 per capita income, using low-cost fossil fuels-based energy. The way the United States did for 150 years. It’s very easy to say now that, “Oh, we are not using coal!” What about in the past? So I’m only asking for that carbon space which you utilized for 150 years.

 

 Gore: My point is not to deny your right to make your own choices as to what kind of energy you want. Obviously you have that right. But what I am saying, when is the sun coming up today? I don’t see it anywhere. I don’t see the blue sky.

 

Climate Leadership Training

Gore: When any of us walk outside and look up at the sky, our natural impression is that the sky looks like it’s a vast and limitless expanse. Goes on forever.

Actually, the atmosphere of the Earth is a very thin shell surrounding the planet. And, of course, right now we are putting 110 million tons of heat-trapping global-warming pollution into that space every single day.

 

We’re using this as an open sewer for all of the gaseous waste in our global civilization.

 

Agriculture is a big cause of it. Burning of forests and burning of cropland. But still, the main part of the problem is the emission of carbon dioxide from the burning of coal, oil, and gas. And that builds up heat energy and raises temperatures.

 

India just set their all-time high temperature record in May. 123.8 degrees Fahrenheit. The streets are melting. We have built a civilization for conditions that we are now in the process of radically changing.

 

All-time records have been broken this year in Thailand and Cambodia and Laos.

 

In Pakistan, over 1,200 people died in the heat wave there. This year, they have dug anticipatory mass graves for the people they fear will die in this year’s heat waves.

 

And we’re seeing that the higher temperatures are shifting the balance between microbes and human beings. The transportation revolution has a lot to do with this. Air travel. But the climate conditions have a big impact on that.

 

Let’s look at Zika. Here is the range of the one mosquito that they’re most worried about. And warmer conditions increase that range considerably.

 

But here is the kicker on this. It’s not just the mosquito, it’s the virus. And the warmer temperatures speed up the incubation rate inside the mosquito. So we get an explosion in the number of cases.

 

And now it’s spread to Miami, Florida. And for the first time in history, pregnant women have been advised not to go to part of the United States of America. In many areas of Central America and South America, the doctors are delivering a message that I’ve never heard in my life. They’re telling women, “Don’t get pregnant for two years, while we try to get a handle on this.” That’s something new in the history of the human race. How long can we just sit back and say, “Oh, well, maybe some genius will think up some miracle”? I’m sorry, I’m getting all fired up here.

 

But let’s step back and take a global view of the increasing temperatures and the extra heat energy. 93% of all this heat energy is going into the oceans. And it has several consequences. A direct consequence is that when ocean-based storms cross much warmer ocean waters the storms get stronger and more destructive. Just a few years ago Superstorm Sandy in the Atlantic crossed areas of the ocean 9 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than normal.

 

And it caused tremendous destruction in New Jersey and in New York.

 

And, by the way, ten years ago, when the movie An Inconvenient Truth came out, the single most criticized scene in that movie was an animated scene showing that the combination of sea level rise and storm surge would put the ocean water into the 9/11 memorial site, which was then under construction. And people said, “That’s ridiculous. What a terrible exaggeration!”

 

Something happened last night at one of the most iconic locations in New York the World Trade Center, Ground Zero. A flood of water with a current so strong it flooded the reconstruction.

 

Andrew Cuomo, Governor, New York State: There is a wakeup call here, and that is climate change and our vulnerability to it.

 

It was true ten years ago, it was true five years ago. It is undeniable today.

 

Typhoon Haiyan, The Philippines

Gore: Years before, the scientists predicted that this would happen. One year later, in the Philippines, Super Typhoon Haiyan crossed areas of the Pacific three degrees Celsius warmer than normal. And it became the strongest and most destructive ocean-based stormever to make landfall.

 

In the city of Tacloban and nearby areas there were 4.1 million climate refugees. Thousands of people were killed.

 

Cristina Gonzalez Romualdez, Mayor of Tacloban City, The Philippines: Even just remembering it now, after more than two years, just remembering the sound of the wind.

 

Alfred Romualdez, Former Mayor of Tacloban City, The Philippines: And then the water came after. Like a wall of water just rushing in.

 

Romualdez: That’s why we had to climb to the roof. In fact, I was shouting, giving them orders “Break that ceiling, we’ve gotta get out of here and we’ve gotta climb up.” If we went to any other place, we would have died. Because that had a concrete structure, and that’s where we were able to climb up.

 

 

John Leonard Chan, Climate Leadership Trainee: People are running, are crying because they don’t know what happened to their family. We see a lot of dead people. I saw Sir Alfred helping… Helping, uh, the other people to, to recover the bodies.

 

Chan: Then… Sorry.

GORE: No, that’s okay. It’s okay. Thank God you’re safe.

Chan: Actually, sir, I am so scared when I’m telling this to my friend…

Gore: It brings it back, doesn’t it?

Chan: Yes, sir. I felt so, so scared.

 

 

 

When Tacloban was hit, I knew that I wanted to organize a training here in the Philippines to meet face-to-face with the people who were on the front lines of this and empower them to translate an excruciatingly painful experience into a focus on changing policy, confronting public officials. I don’t know any other way to do it.”

 

Climate Leadership Training, Manilla, The Philippines

Gore: The loss of life was very tragic. What a blessing it was that Pope Francis came to Tacloban to the ground zero of that tragedy, and delivered a very powerful message that “the gravest effects of the climate crisis are visited upon the poorest people.” This is true everywhere in the world.

 

Now, the second order consequences of the warming oceans include some that  we’re all experiencing on a regular basis now. When the temperature goes up, the water vapor coming off the oceans into the sky is increasing significantly. This means that every storm is different now because it takes place in a warmer and wetter world. Water vapor is often funneled thousands of kilometers from the oceans over the land, and then much more of it falls at the same time.

 

Look at this downpour that hit Tucson, Arizona, and watch the water splash off the city. They’re now calling these things “rain bombs.”

 

Houston’s been hit between May of last year and May of this year. Two 1-in-500-year floods and one 1-in-1,000-year downpour. Now, that’s unusual. Almost Noah-like.

 

This was in Spain last fall.

 

In Chile, last year. Epic event.

 

And now, today, there are water rescues underway in southeast Louisiana.

 

Now, the same heat that is bringing all that water vapor off the oceans is sucking the soil moisture out of the ground. And it’s making the droughts deeper and longer.

 

In China, in Vietnam, in Thailand, and all around the world.

 

And where there is drought, the vegetation dries out and the fires increase. Every night on the evening news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelations.

 

But the dots are very seldom connected in the media. This is global warming. When we have scientists tell us the dots connect, we need to have in our democracy a conversation about cause and effect.

 

Let’s look, for example, at the story of what has happened in Syria. From 2006 to 2010, they had a record-breaking drought. This farmer is one of many who lost his farm. 60% of all the farms in Syria were destroyed. 80% of all their livestock were killed.

 

Newscaster: A climate-exacerbated drought during that period contributed to the displacement of about 2 million people before the conflict broke out.

 

Gore: Yes, many other causes. The dictator there is a bad guy, it’s a multi-sided civil war, and all of the rest. But this drought is the worst in at least 900 years. As far back as the records go. It is unprecedented!

 

Newscaster: And, of course, since then the country has been plunged into horrific civil war.

 

Gore: The next generation, if they live in a world of floods and storms and rising seas and droughts and refugees by the millions escaping unlivable conditions, destabilizing countries around the world, they would be well-justified in looking back at us and asking, “What were you thinking?”

 

Gore: “Couldn’t you hear what the scientists were saying?” “Couldn’t you hear what Mother Nature was screaming at you?”

 

~ End of Part Two ~

 

Download PDF File here:

AIS TTP (Pt. 2) Transcript

 

 

 

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