Climate change now a simple choice between what is right and wrong, says Gore
IF THERE’S one renewable energy that could drive the movement for climate action, it is the people’s will to act.
Former US Vice President Al Gore, Climate Reality Project chair, said this on Monday as he urged sustained action to arrest the worsening effects of climate change, pointing out the silver lining that the world is gradually shifting to renewable energy to cut down carbon emissions.
“There have been ‘nos’ after ‘nos’ after ‘nos.’ People have tried to confuse the issue, cloud the issue, put out falsehoods about issue. But now, because of the impact of climate-related weather, it has now become a simple choice between what is right and wrong,” Gore said in an emphatic closing of his two-hour climate reality presentation on Monday.
“The will to act in itself is a renewable resource,” he told some 700 participants from 58 countries gathered at the climate reality training.
He noted the “good news” that had come the way of the climate action advocacy, including the explosion in the global use of renewable sources like wind and solar power.
In wind power, the world achieved 14.5 times the 30-gigawatt target by 2010. In the area of solar power, the 2010 goal of producing 1 GW per year had been exceeded 17 times.
“The need to act is indisputable. So we have to change. We have a fork in the road. Luckily, we do have solutions at hand,” Gore said.
He cited how “every great moral struggle” in history was faced with initial opposition until it reached a tipping point.
“When the world struggled to abolish slavery, there were loud ‘nos’ for decades, until after the final ‘no’ came a ‘yes.’ When women struggled for the right to vote and equality, there was ‘no’ after ‘no’ after ‘no,’ until after the final ‘no’ there came a ‘yes.’ In the struggle for civil rights, apartheid, every great moral struggle in the history of humanity has been met with ‘no’ after ‘no,’ until finally, when the question was ultimately resolved into a binary choice between right or wrong, the outcome became preordained because of who we are as human beings,” Gore said.
He presented undeniable proof of climate change in the world. In Alaska, people can now sunbathe in the previously unlikely weather of 35.5 degrees Celsius; in Antarctica, researchers could walk around “in their shirts” with the temperature at one point reaching 17 C; in Norway and Greenland, glaciers are thawing; across China and Africa, lakes are experiencing extreme droughts.
Storms are stronger, droughts are longer, forest fires are becoming worse and sea levels are rising.
This, in turn, threatens food security, as extreme weather compromises crops. Water supply is also affected with water resources drying up. Vector-borne diseases are spreading worldwide under conducive warm weather. And infrastructure as we know it—houses, bridges, roads—can no longer withstand fierce floods and extreme heat.
Amid initial skepticism, 99.99 percent of researchers from around the world who produced papers from 2012 to 2013 believe that climate change “is happening and is primarily caused by human activity.” Only a single dissenter stood out, Gore said.