April 12, 2008

Al Gore's New Slide Show

From the first few minutes of Al Gore's recent TED talk:

"If religion, properly understood, is not about belief, [but] about behavior, perhaps we should say the same thing about optimism. . . .

"I'm a big advocate of changing light bulbs, buying hybrids, [etc.]; but as important as it is to change the light bulbs, it's more important to change the laws. And when we change our behavior in our daily lives, we sometimes leave out the citizenship part and the democracy part.

"In order to be optimistic about this, we have to become incredibly active as citizens in our democracy. In order to solve the climate crisis, we have to solve the democracy crisis. And we have one." [Emphasis supplied.]

In this talk, Gore describes some of the evidence that makes scientists think that climate change may now be happening even faster than they were recently predicting, and argues that we must put aside the distractions that engulf us, in order to rise with joy to the challenge and privilege of mobilizing politically and becoming the heroes "[a]bout which, a thousand years from now, philharmonic orchestras and poets and singers will celebrate by saying, 'they were the ones who found it within themselves to solve this crisis and lay the basis for a bright and optimistic human future.'"

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