Friday, July 18, 2008

Al Gore Rocks

While the Republicans continue to push for drilling oil in environmentally damaging ways that will not help the oil crisis much, Al Gore is calling on us to face up to the challenge of our energy crisis:

"We're borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that's got to change."

"There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. "

“Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years. This goal is achievable, affordable and transformative. It represents a challenge to all Americans – in every walk of life: to our political leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers, and to every citizen.”

Barack Obama said the right things in response:

“For decades, Al Gore has challenged the skeptics in Washington on climate change and awakened the conscience of a nation to the urgency of this threat. I strongly agree with Vice President Gore that we cannot drill our way to energy independence, but must fast-track investments in renewable sources of energy like solar power, wind power and advanced biofuels, and those are the investments I will make as President. It’s a strategy that will create millions of new jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced, and one that will leave our children a world that is cleaner and safer.”

However, I wish he would be more out front in this issue. He might be in trouble if he continues to call for generic change, given the slime that is coming his way.
I think he needs to gather around a big, specific idea, and brand himself with with it. Let everyone know that if he is president, the US will be a leader in alternative energy and find a way to become energy indepedent. We could put space program-like energy into it, and rally enough people to make it happen.
Meanwhile, let the Republicans throw their mud and demand that we drill oil offshore. They do that anyway, regardless of the candidate or issue.


Robert Sievers said...

In other news, Tennessee electric has just reported Al Gore's energy consuption. His private residence blew threw 213,210 kw-hrs, 20 times the national average, and up 10% from last year when he promised to make energy saving improvements.

Physician, heal thyself.

Dan S said...

Keep throwing mud Bob, if it makes you feel better about the destruction of the environment.

Robert Sievers said...


You and I have had a lot of arguements in the past, and we each of us has had our share of baiting each other. However, this isn't one of those.

How is examining Al Gore's energy usage "throwing mud". Seriously? I am not discussing his personal life, or even talking about some unrelated issue. Al Gore's main theme is energy. How is it inappropriate in any way to see if practices what he preaches?

Is pointing out hyprocacy now called "throwing mud"?

lls said...

My dad and I just (unwittingly) enacted this argument this morning. I think it's perfectly fair to point out that Al Gore is a hypocrite, but not if it's used as an excuse for our own inaction or as a method of drawing attention away from the most important issue: that our planet really isn't in great shape and basically everyone who can read this is responsible for it in some way -- and conversely, has the power to make a change and act differently. If I may assume that all of us live in the U.S., then almost no matter what justice issue we talk about, we're all going to be hypocrites. But I still think it's important to strive for a world in which we can all live more fully, and ideally, with less fully-polluted lungs. And yes, this means we hold Al Gore's feet to the fire and at the very least make him buy carbon offsets.

PG said...

Every time I shop at Wal-Mart, I know I'm a hypocrite. Face it, we live in the belly of the beast. Capitalism is Mammon. We work for corporations that function according to greed. (Well, those who actually have employment. I'm more or less exempt.) My wife and I are so poor, we have to conserve energy, just to survive. I guess Gore -- and all politicians and luminaries -- have to make concessions to the demands of their high-profile lives. They are the rich young rulers, doing good as best they can but unable to experience the blessings of simplicity. It isn't meaningful to point fingers, though, in this regard. At least Gore's not torturing people and waging war and boasting about his consumption. At least he didn't exhort Americans, as Bush did after 9/11, to "go shopping."

Dan S said...

Bob, the Republican playbook on how to handle inconvenient truths is to smear the messenger in an attempt to smear the message. lls is right - it's fine to point out any hypocricy, as long as it isn't an excuse for inaction. But, of course, that's exactly what those pushing this story are trying to accomplish - inaction.

Al Gore's house is the size of an office, and is used as an office, so comparing it to an average house is apples to oranges. In addition, his electric bill is 50% more expensive than it would be because he pays for green offsets - buying his energy from green sources, which is more expensive. See here for an old report on it.

But, probably the biggest use of energy by Al Gore is that he flies around the world a lot, which dumps a lot of carbon in the atmoshpere. Does this make him a hypocrite for using so much energy? Should he stop doing this? I don't think so. He is using his public influence to try to reduce carbon emissions via public policy. In the end, it doesn't matter what any of us do as individuals as long as public policy is still blind to the problem, and continuing to push us into fossil fuel usage.

Fingtree said...

You can always tell the kool-aid drinking, non-autonomous thinking Republicans by their predictable responses. Listening to and believing a quack like Rush Limbaugh and the other hacks getting filthy rich in the corporate media, especially Fox news, is no different than doing shots with Jim Jones in Guyana.

Robert Sievers said...

You know, Jim Jones lessened the global CO2 output by reducing the earth's population, and consequently billions of exhales. (Just kidding, just kidding...)

pq, just once can you respond without blasting Bush. As someone who hangs around a more gentile crowd, I am not accustomed to the constant level of hatred that springs forth on this blog.

PG said...

Bobby, I kind of like the PQ thing -- like you should mind your p's and q's -- but it's PG to most people. But for you, Roberto, PQ is fine. I dig it. Also, I generally hang out among a non-Jewish crowd myself (you did say "Gentile," didn't you?), and I don't want anyone to start thinking of Dan's blog as a violent place, heaven forfend, but the truth is, I snapped a few years ago and there are things up with which I will not put. Thinking of gay people in less than equal terms is one. The actions of unrepentant war criminals is another. Bush is a war criminal.

PG said...

I do rather doubt that there is any effective change in people's minds with dialog like this. People don't change much. I mean, Robert, what did you hope to accomplish by saying of Gore, "Physician, heal thyself"? Could that be considered "hate" toward Gore?

I recall hearing Stanley Hauerwas, a true nonviolent pacifist, speaking on the radio to skeptical callers. One conservative caller engaged him in argument about the use of violence in the Old Testament, insisting that God permitted war. When Hauerwas wouldn't budge, the caller tried gently to save face, saying, "I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree." Hauerwas snapped (some would say violently) back, "No. We won't agree to disagree. You are wrong."

Most people I talked with thought he was out of line for not being polite. But I was astonished and changed by hearing him speak with such conviction.

As I said, we can't probably make anyone change his or her mind. Change just happens, if it happens. I have decided to speak my mind. I don't enjoy needless flame wars. But I don't think politeness has much value, either.

Maybe I'm the bad cop to the gentle people's good cop. God is the judge and time will tell. Unless it doesn't.

Fingtree said...

I'm not buying the: "someone who hangs around a more gentle crowd" comment. Growing up in this Christian bible belt, right wing Christians have been by far the most hateful and judgemental people I have seen. They fool themselves within their fake circle of morality, that they are many things they are not. The reasons they are right wing Christians is because it works for them. It can be lucrative, it is socially acceptable, there is safety in numbers, they can hide behind these false morals, pretentions and smoke screens, while secretly doing all of the things they claim not to be.
I grew up with Dan, I want to make it clear that Dan has and always will be one of the most stand up respectable, non-abrasive humans I have ever known. While I was beating the no common sense out of Republicans, he was the one always saying NO to it :)
I am the only one here blogging, that could be construed as hateful or abrasive. To my friend Dan, I appologize if anything I type on this blog may be offensive to someone. However, Dan knows me well enough that whatever I say or do is not without reason.

PG said...

Let's face it, this blog would much less exciting if Robert Sievers weren't bold enough to express himself here.

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

If the country accepts Gore's challenge, it won't matter what his electric bill is, nicht wahr?

Fingtree said...

Bold enough is right pg. Much respect to Robert Sievers for your audaciousness and loyalty to your cause. That cannot go without recognition. We are all Patriots of the Earth.

Robert Sievers said...


Your assault on fake Christians highlights both our intrinsic disgust of hypocrisy. There may be one, but I can't think of a circumstance where it is acceptable to preach one thing, while practicing another. I suppose it is easier for me to pick on Gore than "right wing Christians", as I am one.

pg, I am sorry for calling you "pq". My vision isn't too good, and I really did misread it with the underline (the tail on the g blended with the underline in my perception) until I looked closer.

Dan S said...

Come on guys, stop agreeing with each other, it's giving me a nervous tic. Before you know it, we'll all be singing kumbayaa around a campfire :)

Fingtree said...

I'll bring the banjo and the marshmellow's.......:)

PG said...

Al Gore took a big risk when he called on us to get 100% of our electricity from cheap, clean sources within 10 years.

I just signed a petition to support Al Gore's ambitious challenge. Together, we'll urge Obama, McCain, and Congress to get on board.

Can you join me? Just click here and sing Kumbaya:


brownie feeling literary said...

An Untitled Play in One Act

[Brownie appears. Care free and unwitting to the carnage before him}

Hi folks...
This is the Christian Science Reading Room, right?

[Ducks a low flying verbal jab]

Whoa!! Sorry, wrong blog!

[turns and covers head while fleeing for the exit]

The End