After the Tribeca Film Festival last week, I gave my slideshow at Hamilton College near Utica and then gave it twice at the University of Buffalo -- in the afternoon to thousands of high schools students and in the evening to a university and community audience.
I then traveled to Toronto and delivered my slideshow at the Green Living Conference to an audience of business leaders who are now involved in selling environmentally friendly and sustainable products. That evening, I presented the slideshow to an audience of 3500 business leaders from all across Canada.
I also had a chance to visit with my longtime friend David Suzuki, Canada's leading environmentalist. The two of us were dismayed when Canada's new Environment Minister announced a fraudulent plan for CO2 that - if followed - would guarantee that Canada violated its obligation under the Kyoto Protocol. The good news is that opposition leaders and citizens from all across Canada are expressing their disagreement with the Canadian government's about face on Kyoto and are urging that Canada comply with the treaty that it signed and ratified.
I gave my slide show last week in New Orleans, at Tulane University and spoke with local leaders about the slow pace of recovery for the city after Hurricane Katrina more than 20 months ago. The audience was enthusiastic and the questions were very sharp and well focused. While in the city, I also spoke to a large gathering of risk managers for corporations. During this speech I praised the special role that executives in charge of analyzing risk can play in making corporations aware of the dangers associated with the climate crisis.
Later in the week I gave my slide show to 3000 executives that included a large number of hi-tech superstars from China. This group will be critical in encouraging the government in Beijing to take action to help solve the climate crisis.
I then gave my slide show in Los Angles to several thousand lawyers who serve as in house councils for many of America’s largest corporations. We then discussed the leadership role some companies are taking to reduce greenhouse gases.
At the end of the week I spoke to 2000 architects at the 150th Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Architecture. Their entire convention was focused on green development and sustainability. I was really impressed with the creative ideas that many architects are advancing as part of the solution to the climate crisis.
In the months following the release of An Inconvenient Truth, I began to focus on why our democracy has been so slow to deal with the climate crisis. The unwillingness to solve this problem is not only the result of a lack of political will, but it has also been caused by the emergence of a new political environment dangerously hostile to reason, knowledge, and facts. In the long-term, this poses a threat to the very basis of American democracy: the ability of a well-informed citizenry to use the rule of reason to hold government accountable.
This Assault on Reason is the focus of my new book that goes on sale today. You can purchase the book at your local bookstore or by clicking here.
When George Bush launched his preemptive war in Iraq, more than 70% of Americans believed Saddam Hussein was linked to the terrorists who caused 9-11. After the 2004 election, when asked what stuck in their minds about the campaign, voters in Ohio named two ads playing to the fears of terrorism paid for by the Bush Campaign. One pattern that has held true since 2001 is that this White House is less interested in openness and truth than any previous administration.
We are facing so many long-term challenges, from the climate crisis and the war in Iraq to health care and social welfare. To solve these problems and move forward we need to reverse the damage done to our democracy. We have little time to waste.
My goal in The Assault on Reason is to explore why our public forum now welcomes the enemies of reason. More importantly, the book focuses on what we can do together, individually and collectively, to restore the rule of reason to our democracy.
You can purchase The Assault on Reason by clicking here.