April 2007

Today's court decision April 2, 2007 : 5:47 PM

Although solving the climate crisis clearly demands that Congress pass bold legislation, today's Supreme Court decision makes it clear that the Bush administration could act right away to cut global warming pollution. The court, in their 5-4 decision, made it very clear that the current Clean Air Act allows the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide -- the principle gas that causes global warming.

It's a shame the Bush administration sought to limit its own authority to cut global warming pollution by fighting against this case.

If you want to learn more, there are two excellent stories in today's New York Times and LA Times that I would recommend.

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Step It Up on April 14 April 4, 2007 : 10:37 AM

Since March 16, AlGore.com has grown by more than 250,000, to an amazing 555,392 members. However to ultimately succeed and convince our elected leaders to do what needs to be done, we have to grow much bigger still.

In addition to increasing the size of our movement, we want to be constantly alert to any opportunities where AlGore.com members can help build momentum to solve the climate crisis. Sometimes these actions will take place on AlGore.com - but there are dozens of other groups doing great work. One of those organizations is Step It Up 2007.

Step It Up 2007 has organized a National Day of Climate Action on April 14. They've already scheduled more than 1,100 rallies in all fifty states - locations vary from the melting glacier on top of Mt. Rainier, to the levees in New Orleans, to underwater in an endangered coral reef off the coast of Florida, to your neighborhood park.

You can find the rally closest to your home, or if there isn't one nearby, host one yourself by visiting:

http://stepitup2007.org/

One simple message will unite these rallies - "Step it up, Congress! Enact immediate cuts in carbon emissions, and pledge an 80% reduction by 2050. No half measures, no easy compromises - the time has come to take the real actions that can stabilize our climate."

This reduction in CO2 may seem far-fetched, but it is within our grasp. Now we need our elected leaders to take the bold steps necessary to make it happen. Rallies in all 50 states are sure to further that goal.

Participating in, or even hosting an event is easy. Take the first step and sign up by visiting:

http://stepitup2007.org/

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This Week April 5, 2007 : 3:14 PM

I've given my slideshow multiple times this week. On Sunday, I presented it to 7,500 higher education professionals in Orlando, FL and talked with them about campuses as centers of social change. Whether it was the civil rights movement or the effort to stop the Vietnam War, campuses have often been centers of conscience and passion in support of necessary changes in society. I believe that they will play an even greater role in the months and years ahead as we all rally to solve the climate crisis.

The following day, Monday, I gave my slideshow to several thousand students at Arizona State University and the response was overwhelming. By the way, on many campuses - including Arizona State's - the climate crisis already transcends political boundaries. Republicans as well as Democrats are calling for bold action.

On Tuesday, I spoke about the climate crisis to a large group of engineers gathered in Silicon Valley at the "Embedded systems Conference." These engineers are crucial to our society's effort to redesign all of the systems that use - and waste - energy. They will also be crucial to the development of the "Electranet" - the smart grid that will facilitate widely disseminated micro-generation of electricity from renewable sources. The smart grid will also help our society to reduce the waste of energy that is now endemic throughout our country and the world. In the evening I engaged in a conversation about the climate crisis before 3,000 guests of the CA Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

I can report to you that everywhere I go, I find rising awareness, a growing sense of urgency and a building determination and commitment to solve the climate crisis. I am very optimistic that we are getting closer and closer to the political tipping point that is necessary to embolden the political leaders in every party to make the policy changes that are so necessary.

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Training in Nashville April 12, 2007 : 6:31 PM

I spent the last 3 days training 150 people from all over the United States - and from Canada, the United Kingdom, Senegal, Germany, and Cameroon - to give my slideshow. It was an incredible and inspiring experience for me, because these men and women are so committed and so passionate and are now launching a new wave of slideshows in the communities and states and nations where they live.

This group brought the total number I have trained at sessions here in Nashville to over 1,000. If you are interested in reading about the trainings there have been some great articles in Time Magazine, The Sun Journal, and the Tennessean.

These trainees come from every conceivable background. Businesspeople, educators, environmental activists, farmers, clergy, scientists, students, homemakers, grandparents and retirees, musicians, actors, and a professional football player - Dhani Jones - starting linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Incidentally, I have previously trained 85 people in Australia, who are doing a really amazing job crisscrossing that nation (Don Henry, the head of the Australian Conservation Foundation attended this week's session as an observer. I will hold a second training in Australia this fall - which of course is Spring down under), and 200 people in the United Kingdom last month. Speaking of athletes, that group included the world famous coach of the Manchester United football (soccer) club, Sir Alec Ferguson.

Future training sessions are now in development for China, India, Africa, and South America.

I have found that many people will watch and listen when their neighbors give the slideshow and engage in a meaningful discussion about how we can solve this climate crisis. The trainees thus far have already given my slideshow more times collectively in the last six months - 3,000 - than I have been able to give it in 20 years.

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8 times this week April 26, 2007 : 3:07 PM

I am scheduled to give my slideshow 8 times this week.

On Monday I gave it to 3,800 people in Regina, Saskatchewan where it was quite well received.

Then Monday night I gave it to a large crowd of 1,600 people in Calgary - in the province of Alberta, where the tar sands projects are now being developed. These tar sands are the most carbon intensive sources of energy yet produced and pose an extremely serious threat to the environment. But what impressed me was the willingness of the energy company executives to have an open and honest discussion about the problem and why I believe that these resources should not be developed.

In his introduction of me, Gary Holden, CEO of the ENMAX Corporation said, "Mr. Gore has ignited a spirit of cooperation that, a year ago, could not have been anticipated...” Although it's safe to say that I did not change the minds of everyone in the auditorium, I was very grateful for the opportunity to speak directly for two hours to such an influential group in the energy industry.

As the world makes the difficult transition ahead, we will need to reach out and learn from one another. In Alberta, they have devoted a lot more attention and resources to developing technologies to capture and sequester carbon and to use recycled brackish water rather than freshwater which ends up being polluted. Time will tell whether they can eliminate CO2 emissions from these carbon intensive deposits. I am skeptical. But, the conversation has been taken to a higher, more productive level.

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At the Tribeca Film Festival April 28, 2007 : 12:02 PM

Two nights ago Tipper and I went to the opening of the Tribeca Film Festival joining with Robert De Niro and my friend Kevin Wall to launch a series of 60 short movies that have been commissioned as part of the Live Earth concerts on 7/7/07. Jon Bon Jovi performed after the films were shown and a huge crowd attended.

The Live Earth concerts will benefit the Alliance for Climate Protection and serve as a powerful wake up call all around the world with performances over a 24-hour period from all seven continents. Now these short films are being added to the toolkit that we'll use to get the message out and launch the multi-year mass persuasion campaign. Our goal is to create an appropriate sense of urgency that pushes the world's political system over the tipping point across which effective solutions to the crisis will be demanded.

The festival was a lot of fun! There were huge crowd and lots of enthusiasm. Everyone enjoyed the music, the movies, and the stimulating conversations that focused on solutions to the climate crisis.

Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff, founded the Tribeca Film Festival in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The festival, now in its 6th year, has been a source of hope and renewal and as always is held right next to the site of the attacks against the World Trade Center towers. As a result, this festival always carries a lot of extra emotion and embodies the determination of the people in New York City and all over the United States to rebuild, renew, and reach out to one another in an optimistic and hopeful way.

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