I spent two and a half days at a workshop on solutions to the climate crisis in Colorado at the Aspen Institute. It was one of the best such meetings I have attended.
The bipartisan and international group of experts in attendance found widespread agreement on the urgency of the crisis and participated in extremely productive working sessions on the best ways to accelerate solutions.
In addition to the workshop sessions, one session was open to the
public. Below I've included some coverage from the Aspen Daily News of that session.
Gore: human species in a race for its life
"There's an African proverb that says, 'If you want to go quick, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.' We have to go far quickly," former Vice President Al Gore told a packed, rapt house at the Benedict Music Tent Wednesday. With many scientists pointing to a window of less than 10 years to moderate the effects of global warming, he said, meaningful change is still possible, but "It is a race."
The size of the climate problem? Worldwide atmospheric carbon has jumped from 280 to 383 parts per million in the last century; the polar icecaps are melting three times faster than anyone's direst prediction; China is on the verge of surpassing the United States for greenhouse gas emissions; bark beetles and wildfires are sweeping across Western forests; temperatures are climbing, sea levels rising, glaciers vanishing. By some estimates, humans must pull 30 gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere to have a shot at reversing such effects.
"What we're facing worldwide really is a planetary emergency," Gore said. "I'm optimistic, but we're losing this battle badly." Gore, interviewed by business luminary John Doerr, spoke at the Aspen Institute's Greentech Innovation Network summit -- a gathering of world innovators hoping to boost the development of green technologies.