Al Gore Moves On?

Yesterday, MoveOn.org facilitated a conference call between its grassroots-activist membership and the top presidential vote-getter in 2000, Al Gore.

I know lots of people — myself included — believe Gore was gypped in 2000. But it is clear to me that the ardent environmentalist loves pouring his energies into issues surrounding global warming and protecting the planet. He’s said publicly — and without ambiguity — that he will not run for president in 2008.

And I believe him. But I can’t help but wonder: I saw An Inconvenient Truth, his gripping and enjoyable climate-change documentary, and thought, Where was that guy in 2000? He’s passionate, funny, loose, affable and eminently knowledgeable about his subject. No wonder Tipper’s so nuts about him.

Now, there’s this, from his MoveOn chat: “My talents and experiences, I believe, are best focused on changing the political environment so anyone who runs can focus on the climate crisis we are facing.” What the heck does that mean? He’s made no Sherman statement. Is this a potential open door? Might he consider changing the political environment from within? Can his backbone be strengthened regarding the issue of equality? Can he possibly be persuaded to run? And again, where was this guy in 2000?

Just thinking out loud.

Read on, and see what you think. Interestingly, the chat is posted at Draft Gore 2008 (which I just love):

Q) How did the movie come to be?

A) It evolved from a slide show, to a Power Point presentation to the movie that’s playing in theaters now.

Q) What got you interested in Global Warming?

A) A professor at Harvard connected the dots predicting the effects of human technology on the ozone.

Q) Why is it so hard to convince people there’s a problem?

A) Several reasons:

  1. The relationship between humans and the planet has changed so that it is unrecognizable and nothing has prepared us for the fact that we are the single greatest factor in the functioning of the ecosystem.

  2. Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. It’s a natural, human instinct.

  3. There is a tremendous gulf between the scientific community and public perception.

  4. A cynical effort is underway to manipulate the discussion of global warming. Money is being spent by the gas and oil industries to hire pseudo scientists to make it easier to manipulate that public perception.

Q) How do we compel the government to act?

A) There’s good news and bad news. The good news is the Kyoto Protocol exists and has been signed by all but the US and Australia. The bad news, not only have we not signed it, this administration seems bent on heading in the wrong direction. More bad news, it’s not only Republicans acting poorly on the environment, it crosses party lines. The only way to change the government is by changing public perception and the sense of urgency in the population.

Read the rest of Martha Smithback’s recounting of Eli Pariser and MoveOn’s fascinating chat with Al Gore; thanks MoveOn, for giving us access. And be thankful that Al Gore, candidate or not, is on our side.

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2 thoughts on “Al Gore Moves On?

  1. Thanks for blogging about Gore — but you have one of your facts wrong: “He’s said publicly — and without ambiguity — that he will not run for president in 2008.”

    That’s not actually the case, he’s said that he has no intention and no plans to run, but he certainly hasn’t said that he has decided NOT to run, in 2008 or otherwise.

    I’ve just posted an analysis of the current Gore in 2008 thinking here: AlGore.org

    You can also take a look at some Draft Gore in 2008 printed literature and sign up to join the Speaker’s Bureau– where we’ll train you for speaking about Gore in your hometown (and supply you with all the campaign materials you need)

    Thanks,
    Dylan Malone –
    Chair, The People, Not The Powerful, 08

  2. Whoa… I am well aware of the facts, thank you very much. Let’s put it this way: For most of us, when someone says they have no intention or plan to run, that person is communicating pretty clearly. Gore told ABC News, “I can’t imagine any circumstances in which I would become a candidate again. I’ve found other ways to serve. I’m enjoying them.” Sounds clear and unabmiguous to me. Sure, there’s wiggle room. What fool ever says a categorical “never”?

    “No intention, no plans” certainly can equal “not running,” Mr. Malone, so it appears our difference here deals only with semantics. As Barry Gibb sang, it’s only words. Given that you’re committed to drafting Gore, it’s no surprise that you would see his statement as being just shy of, “Sure, I’ll run.” And why not pursue it? I believe you are correct in insisting that there exists a chance that he will change his mind.

    As for me joining, give me some time to consider it. There is still a wide gulf between Gore and me; I have not made any decisions save that I – personally – can’t vote for a candidate who’s not on record in word and deed as being in complete support of marriage equality (i.e. equality for all under law). The fact that I am even willing to consider him is a huge leap. Be thankful for that. We’ll see what develops.

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