“We Are Still Failing Badly” Speech by Al Gore

Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States and the winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for spreading awareness about climate change, made a fiery speech at the World Economic Forum on January 18, 2023.

He conveys that although there is progress, the reality is that we are not moving fast enough to combat climate change. In terms of the positive news, he highlighted the Inflation Reduction Act passed in the United States, which invested hundreds of billions of dollars on climate action. He also mentioned how elections in Australia and Brazil changed their climate policies, so there is some positive momentum. Moreover, he stated how 90% of new electricity generated worldwide last year was renewable and renewable electricity is the cheapest form of electricity for almost every country. He also mentioned how electric vehicles are much more popular than they used to be.

However, Al Gore quotes the UN Secretary-General that we are not currently winning as emissions are still going up despite all the talks in the last few years. He explains how the atmosphere is very thin, and humanity is putting 162 million tons of greenhouse gas pollution into it every single day. Al Gore further mentions that this is the equivalent of trapping as much heat as would be released by approximately 600,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs daily.

All this extra heat is having severe impacts. This includes:

  • more severe floods and droughts
  • more powerful storms
  • melting glaciers and ice sheets
  • rising sea levels

Al Gore emphasizes that there could be over 1 billion environmental refugees due to climate change in this century which would be devastating.

To learn more about the effects of climate change, read this Climate Change Guide page.

In this speech, Al Gore also states that we need to have a much greater sense of urgency. He states that he agrees with Greta Thunberg’s efforts to stop the construction of a new coal mine in Germany.

I recommend you watch this video:

Climate Change from A to Z

I recently read a great article from the New Yorker that gives a comprehensive summary of climate change. The article is quite long, but it sure is well worth the time to read it.

On the website of the New Yorker, you also have the option to listen to the story. The audio is almost an hour and a half.

It was published on November 21, 2022, and was written by Elizabeth Kolbert.

Millions of lives are at stake, and upward of a million species.

New Yorker

You can read the article here.

The Problem With Humans

In his show “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” Jon Stewart did a great segment about climate change. An important point mentioned here is that the idea of “reducing your carbon footprint” was a highly successful advertising campaign from BP, British Petroleum, one of the world’s largest oil companies. The idea is that if people blame themselves for climate change they are less likely to take action against the fossil fuel industry. An important article from the Guardian explains how “Just 100 companies have been the source of more than 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions since 1988, according to a new report.”

Another important point is that American politicians have said that they were taking the issue of climate change seriously for decades but are not acting fast enough. Republican President George H.W. Bush spoke about climate change in the 1990s.

Also, there is an article from NPR that discusses the issue of plastic recycling. It is mentioned in this article that “Analysts now expect plastic production to triple by 2050.” Also, Jon Stewart mentions a quote which is also found in this article. From the article:

“If the public thinks that recycling is working, then they are not going to be as concerned about the environment.”

Larry Thomas, former president of the Society of the Plastics Industry, known today as the Plastics Industry Association and one of the industry’s most powerful trade groups in Washington, D.C., told NPR.

Climate Scientist Answers Earth Questions From Twitter

Here is a video I found that is quite interesting. The video was published on October 25, 2022, on WIRED’s YouTube channel.

Climate scientist Dr. Peter Kalmus answers the internet’s burning questions about our planet. Are there any other planets we can live on yet? Why is the coral reef dying? How does the carbon cycle work? How much longer until Florida is underwater? Dr. Kalmus answers all these questions and much more.

WIRED YouTube Channel