Speaking in Manila yesterday during a Climate Reality training event, Al Gore said we only have two years left to save the planet and to convince people of global warming’s imminent threat. But in 2014, former VP-turned-green-activist Gore told Rolling Stones that we have reached a turning point, have seen “the worst effects of climate change and have saved civilization as we know it.” Al “sees the future and it is good,” wrote the Daily Kos in 2014.
“The forward journey for human civilization will be difficult and dangerous, but it is now clear that we will ultimately prevail,” Gore said in that 2014 interview. “The only question is how quickly we can accelerate and complete the transition to a low-carbon civilization…” Apparently not fast enough, especially with a presidential election in November.
Since 2006, when his movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ hit the film circuit, Al Gore has been making these end-is-nigh proclamations. He said the Arctic would be ice free by 2014. He got that wrong. He had so many scientific errors in his documentary, a UK judge forbade it from being shown in British schools without “guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination.”
That may be why in Manila he showed an “updated version” of his film. He also notes the Philippines (like the rest of the world) are “still dependent on fossil fuels,” what he believes is responsible for any changes in the climate.
Gore also said in the 2014 interview that the “truly catastrophic damages that have the potential for ending civilization as we know it can still – almost certainly – be avoided. Moreover, the pace of the changes already set in motion can still be moderated significantly.”
But in Manila, Gore said: “We’re in an unusual situation in our world. We have to make a very large change. And we have to do it in a ridiculously short period of time.” And that was only on the first day of his boot training camp for what he calls his ‘climate warriors.’
“I say ridiculously because we’re used to making changes [this] large over centuries. We don’t have centuries. We have years. And each day matters.” He said all this to the 600-plus participants, many of whom flew into the country on carbon-spewing jets to attend the three-day workshop. Gore also said their task ahead would be daunting.
But in the Rolling Stones’ interview, he said: “Is there enough time? Yes. Damage has been done, and the period of consequences will continue for some time to come, but there is still time to avoid the catastrophes that most threaten our future.” He also notes that the progress in solar has been stunning and that the energy sector is waking up to the cost savings of going green. What a difference a few years can make with an upcoming election looming ahead.
Since that 2014 interview, more and more solar companies have gone bankrupt, and wind power is on the decline due to complaints by residents living next to these giant turbines. In 2015, the UK slashed “subsidies to small-scale renewable energy technologies, with solar Feed-in Tariff being cut by a whopping 65 percent.” Same in Australia. Even Al Gore’s so-called sustainable Global Investment Portfolio shows only one renewable energy company, SolarCity, out of the 30 funds listed in its portfolio.
Only in the U.S. did wind and solar get a reprieve in the Dec. 2015 spending bill, which has been heavily criticized for favoring certain technologies over others. The bill, which was passed along bi-partisan lines and seen as another business-as-usual budget, is motivating many voters to elect somebody who is promising to repeal these green goodies. It also included and renewed subsidies for companies that produce “everything from green energy to electric cars.”
The founder and chairman of the Climate Reality Project is now saying the group’s mission is daunting. In 2014, Al Gore said “we are finally putting ourselves on a path to solve the climate crisis.” Yet Gore told the 2016 audience that “our political system not only in the US and the Philippines and the various nations represented here but the political system worldwide is seemingly locked in a pattern that is difficult to change.”
Currently, the United States is locked in a heated primary race to determine whether the next president is a Democrat or Republican. Both Hillary and Bernie have sparred over who would stop fracking the fastest, and Hillary recently said she would put coal miners out of business if elected.
Fracking is just one reason we have seen such low oil and natural prices, even as Saudi Arabia tries to bankrupt these businesses by undercutting the cost of oil. America is now the largest oil producer in the world. We even produce more oil and natural gas than Russia.
Gore also told the Manila audience that the political system worldwide is “beginning to change. It is beginning to give way.” And he says that his ‘climate warriors’ can take all the credit, adding: “What makes that change occur is your passion, coupled with the knowledge that you are gaining from one another, from the presenters here and from this experience that is beginning this morning.”
Gore also railed against carbon, calling it the number one threat to the global economy. That runs counter to coal, oil, and natural gas being the chief providers of affordable energy to industrialized and developing nations. The Philippine’s largest sources of energy come from coal (29 percent) and oil (23 percent). Because coal is so cheap and abundant, “Philippine consumption of coal has … increased by 27% between 2012 and 2014.”
And while no one expects fossil fuels to be phased out any time soon despite all the heated rhetoric by Democrats, Gore insists that renewable energy sources like solar are the “biggest new investment opportunity in the history of world’s business.” Sadly, even his own investment portfolio doesn’t share this vision.