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March 24, 2006

The Gore-y Details

GoreI have PowerPoint envy.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to see Al Gore's presentation on climate change. A remarkably thorough-going look at the consquences, Gore somehow managed to be simultaneously panic-inducing and inspiring. Not only was his slideshow easily the best slideshow I've ever seen on this, or any other, subject, but Gore himself was a study in mastery--at once funny and earnest, erudite and thundering. (Where was this guy during the 2000 campaign?) If you ever have a chance to see him speak on global warming, drop what you're doing and run, don't walk.

Trying to recap his talk in a blog post would be an exercise in futility. You know the drill by now anyway: collapsing ice sheets, shrinking glaciers, spreading diseases, hurricanes, and floods. The punishment that climate change promises to inflict is downright biblical in scale--a punishment that will fall especially hard on the poorest and weakest on earth. And so it was good to hear Gore's booming declaration that arresting climate change is not a political issue, but a basic moral one.

Gore was here in Seattle, you may know, because of mayor Greg Nickels' pledge to bring Seattle into compliance with Kyoto--a pledge that 218 other cities have joined. Today marked the release of the city's Green Ribbon Commission report that details how Seattle will get there. Media coverage here and here.

I'll wrap up with a quote that Gore included as a spur to decisionmakers today. This is Winston Churchill as the gathering forces of facism were darkening Europe:

"The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place, we are entering a period of consequences.”

Update 3/24/06, 2pm: An alert reader informs me that Lawrence, Kansas joined Seattle's Kyoto pledge today, bringing the total number of cities to 219. (Incidentally, nearly 44 million Americans live in cities that have pledged to meet Kyoto's standards.)

Posted by Eric de Place | Permalink


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Gore is a village idiot. I am sad to purge such exclamations. Good job guy but lets sit down and talk about corrective action for the future. Total lack of leadership.

Posted by: Michael T Kovacs | Mar 24, 2006 8:58:52 PM

Village idiot? Really? Where does this impression of Gore come from? I'd very much like to know. Compare his depth of knowledge on the subject to Bush's depth of knowledge on any subject and its a ridiculously disparity. I'm not suggesting that Michael is a Bush man, I just wonder about the questioning of politicos who actually take the time to learn about a subject before attempting solutions.

Posted by: Ryan Carson | Mar 25, 2006 9:51:49 AM

Gore is a director of Apple, so there's a good chance you have Keynote Envy, and not PowerPoint Envy.
Oh yes, Gore's an idiot. An idiot that was pushing for increased airline security in 1997. "Too much money", said the airlines and the Republican Congress agreed. Up-is-downism in action, and we've all paid the price.

Re-elect Gore 2008

Posted by: Mark Centz | Mar 25, 2006 10:20:40 PM


There goes my joke! (You're right that Gore uses Keynote, not PowerPoint -- he even made a point of mentioning it.) But somehow the opening line just isn't as funny the other way.

Alright, it's not THAT funny to begin with...

Posted by: Eric de Place | Mar 29, 2006 8:52:02 AM