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.