Al Gore

From this issue of Rolling Stone, talking (what else?) climate change:

Yet without presidential leadership that focuses intensely on making the public aware of the reality we face, nothing will change. The real power of any president, as Richard Neustadt wrote, is “the power to persuade.” Yet President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has simply not made the case for action. He has not defended the science against the ongoing, withering and dishonest attacks. Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community — including our own National Academy — to bring the reality of the science before the public.

Here is the core of it: we are destroying the climate balance that is essential to the survival of our civilization. This is not a distant or abstract threat; it is happening now. The United States is the only nation that can rally a global effort to save our future. And the president is the only person who can rally the United States.

Many political advisers assume that a president has to deal with the world of politics as he finds it, and that it is unwise to risk political capital on an effort to actually lead the country toward a new understanding of the real threats and real opportunities we face. Concentrate on the politics of re-election, they say. Don’t take chances.

All that might be completely understandable and make perfect sense in a world where the climate crisis wasn’t “real.” Those of us who support and admire President Obama understand how difficult the politics of this issue are in the context of the massive opposition to doing anything at all — or even to recognizing that there is a crisis. And assuming that the Republicans come to their senses and avoid nominating a clown, his re-election is likely to involve a hard-fought battle with high stakes for the country. All of his supporters understand that it would be self-defeating to weaken Obama and heighten the risk of another step backward. Even writing an article like this one carries risks; opponents of the president will excerpt the criticism and strip it of context.

But in this case, the President has reality on his side. The scientific consensus is far stronger today than at any time in the past. Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act.

3 thoughts on “Al Gore

  1. Thanks for this link. I’ve been thinking lately that Gore has seemed remarkably quiet about climate change issues — OR that the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) has been deliberately ignoring him since any criticism of Obama from the actual left of Obama did not fit into The Narrative about Obama?

    Speaking of The Narrative, Charlie Rose’s panel last night seems to indicate the tide has turned on the MCM’s high regard for Obama and it is now flowing out. There were questions about Obama’s ability to lead, for example. Statements that he seems to have found his style, which is to be a senator “bulding bridges” between two different groups. That he lurks behind the issues, until he figures out what’s going to actually happen. Etc. Of curse, he seems mostly able to only builds bridges between center right and whackjob right.

    The panel was labeled “Columnists from the NYTimes,” but Paul Krugman didn’t fit in to the accepted Austerian view and was not included…. But, or course, I can’t now for sure why Rose chose these four….

    I googled Gore and climate change — found mostly references to An Inconvenient Truth and criticisms of that and anything Gore says about climate!

    But I did find he has web site, with a blog (labeled “Journal”) area:

  2. Concentrate on the politics of re-election, they say.

    Why should we bother? Obama’s essentially the same as GWB’s “Clean Air Act.”

    I feel sorry for his daughters.

  3. Mr Obama’s daughters will be well taken care and sent to the best schools and universities. This is one of the reasons he does what he does, to ensure their future after he leaves office.

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