I had some really interesting and productive meetings in London this week -- discussing the climate crisis with the Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, who is widely expected to be the next Prime Minister when Tony Blair retires.
Chancellor Brown has introduced a package of binding CO2 reductions in the United Kingdom that represent real leadership. The same day I met with the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron, and 80 of his fellow Tory Members of Parliament. They were unanimous in their determination to propose meaningful solutions to the climate crisis. There has been a revolution in British politics, with the two largest parties now wholeheartedly committed to CO2 reductions and international leadership to solve the climate crisis.
I can’t tell you how refreshing and encouraging it is to watch and listen to a vigorous and healthy debate that is focused on who can provide the most effective and imaginative solutions to the climate crisis. I told members of both parties that even in the midst of their competition, they should feel a sense of pride in showing how politics can be a constructive source for creative energy. I also told them how much I wished the United States could make the global environment a bipartisan issue – as it once was.
On March 21st, I will testify before Congress on the immediate action that needs to be taken to end the climate crisis. At the hearing, I will deliver the 294,374 messages you signed, demonstrating that hundreds of thousands of people share my sense of urgency.
If an additional 55,626 people sign our message, it will be as though 350,000 of us are there at the hearing expressing our determination to convince Congress to act. Having served in the House and Senate, I can tell you that members of these committees would find this to be a meaningful and impressive show of support.
There are only 5 days left before the hearings begin, so please do not pass up this opportunity to join in showing the broad public support we need in order to solve the climate crisis. I know you have friends or family who care deeply about this issue but have yet to sign our message to Congress.
Ask them to help fill that committee room with 350,000 messages by visiting:
The reason Congress has so far failed to act is not because there are no solutions to the problem. Nor is it because the majority doesn't believe that the climate crisis is real. They have failed to act, because they have not yet faced a sufficient expression of political will on the part of the American people demanding they confront our climate crisis head on. You and I know that political will is a renewable resource, and enough already exists to start solving this crisis. We just have to communicate that forcefully to the political leaders of our country.
In the last two weeks alone 101,673 people visited AlGore.com and signed our message to Congress. This is an incredible demonstration of the energy behind this issue.
In my testimony, of course, I will speak about the scientific evidence for global warming - just reiterated six weeks ago by the world's scientists in the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. But frankly, the debate on the science has long been over -except for a diminishing number of skeptics and deniers.
At this point, it is far more important to deliver your message about the urgency with which this crisis must be faced. Political leaders need to know that you intend to reward those who do the right thing and that you will work to replace those who do not.
That's why it's vital we fill up the hearing room with 350,000 messages.
Please ask your friends to sign our message to Congress today by visiting:
Together we are building a movement that has the potential to translate your strong feelings into effective change for our country. And we all know that when the United States changes - and offers leadership - the entire world will follow.
While in London, I also gave a speech to the UK National Association of Pension Funds on the relationship between pension fund investments and the climate crisis. Numerous studies have shown that short-term investing - focused on maximizing returns as measured every three months - is actually a negative force that discourages many large companies that depend on pension fund investment from making the expenditures necessary to switch to cleaner approaches.
Even though capital expenditures for clean energy will generate profit in the long term, they will not see profit in the short term. This is because benefits of reduced dependence on carbon often require 2 -3 years to add up. Pension funds ought to be focused on the long term anyway, because they themselves are long-term investments rather than ones based on quarterly profit.
On Tuesday, I gave the keynote address at the Point Carbon conference where thousands of businesses, policy makers, carbon traders and others were represented. At the same conference a year ago, only 15% of the companies were reducing their carbon internally - this year 65% are. This is a hopeful sign that Europe is really moving rapidly forward. We need to redouble our efforts to get the United States to move forward just as quickly.
When I posted last Friday, 294,374 people had signed our message to Congress demanding immediate action to solve the climate crisis. In that post, I asked you to help meet the goal of delivering 350,000 messages when I testify at Congressional hearings on Wednesday.
Your response was amazing. By Saturday morning - because of you - we exceeded our goal! In fact, as I write this email, our total has risen to 405,758. Thank you!
What that means is that we are now within striking distance of collecting over 500,000 messages - and have less than 48 hours to get it done in time for the Congressional hearings.
Now is the time to reach out to as many people as possible. Ask any friend who wants to end the climate crisis to sign our message to Congress now by visiting:
By the way, maybe this goes without saying, but please reach out to Republican and Independent, as well as Democratic friends. One of our goals must be to make this issue one that transcends partisanship. While many of the solutions to the climate crisis will be found within the political system, there should be bipartisan and transpartisan agreement on the basic nature of the crisis and the sense of urgency that is appropriate for us to solve it.
That point was brought home to me again last week when I visited London and met with the leaders of the Labour Party and the Conservative Party. In the UK, both major political parties are completely committed to taking real action to solve the climate crisis. They openly acknowledge this is an unprecedented moral issue and are competing vigorously to see who can propose the most creative and effective solutions to solve this crisis.
Here at home, our objective must be to create a similar sense of urgency in both political parties. That is why your activism leading up to these hearings is so important. We are so close to our new goal of 500,000 messages to Congress. You can help put us over the top.
So please reach out to everyone you know and ask them to sign our message to Congress today - or at least within the next 48 hours by visiting:
Watch Al Gore's opening statement.
Video courtesy of PoliticsTV.com
"Our Grandchildren Are Counting On Us"
Video courtesy of PoliticsTV.com
By 10:00 AM yesterday, as I took my seat in the hearing room, an incredible 519,414 people had signed our message to Congress demanding immediate action to solve the climate crisis.
All of those boxes chock full of your messages, sitting right next to me as I testified, were a fantastic show of support and one that is already having an impact as our Representatives and Senators begin to debate solutions to the climate crisis. In fact, so many people signed our message in the 24 hours before the hearing, we are still working on printing them. But don’t worry, Congress now knows that you have spoken, and I will personally make sure every last message is delivered.
I also wanted to make sure that you had the chance to see the hearing for yourself, so I’ve posted video highlights on AlGore.com.
After witnessing your incredible show of activism and enthusiasm, I wanted to give something back to you. As many of you know, Live Earth will take place on July 7. The 24-hour concert marks the beginning of a multi-year campaign to raise awareness about our climate crisis. It will feature more than 100 acts, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg, Foo Fighters and Faith Hill.
Tickets are sure to sell out fast, and I wanted to make sure that you have the chance to see the show. That’s why we will set aside a special block of tickets and let AlGore.com members purchase the first ones sold. I will let you know more details before these tickets go on sale.
If you would like to learn more about the Live Earth concerts you can visit:
In a few short weeks we have grown into a movement of more than 500,000 strong. To ultimately win, we are going to need to grow bigger – but for now we are off to a great start.
Thank you again for what you made possible today,
I had a really interesting day at the House and Sen ate. Having served in both houses for several years, I was struck by how many members now accept the scientific consensus on the climate crisis. Of course there were a few who did not -but that wasn’t a surprise. The fact that the naysayers are increasingly isolated is very encouraging.
There was a big reaction in both the House and Senate when I told them about the more than 519,000 of you who signed the powerful messages I delivered yesterday. In fact since the hearing I have already had a lot of follow-up contacts from members of the committee wanting to introduce legislation that embodies the recommendations I offered. I was also contacted by many others, who want to solve the climate crisis and put it at the top of the Congressional agenda.
I am particularly grateful to Chairman Dingell and Gordon on the House side. And of course on the Senate side Chairwoman Boxer brought the hearing room to spontaneous applause when she held up the gavel and informed Senator Inhofe he's not in charge anymore
That was a moment that made me smile.
I've spent the last two and a half days in Cambridge, England training 200 leaders and grassroots activists from to give my slide show throughout the United Kingdom. The enthusiasm here is incredible and the level of energy these men and women are bringing to this challenge is inspiring. Business leaders, teachers, people from the faith community, environmental activists, eminent climate scientists an others have become a part of this effort to spread the message about the climate crisis and the solutions to it.
I have learned a great deal from them and have been inspired by them and can tell you that they are starting now to motivate people to ratchet up the commitment and urgency that must be brought to solving the climate crisis.
Two weeks from now, I will train another 150 people in Nashville, and that will bring the total trained in the US to more than 1000. When the political system is paralyzed is when we have to go to the grassroots level. Thank you again for being an essential part of this whole effort.