Friday, July 18, 2008

Al Gore is Kinda Cute

I’ve always been a fan of older men. Today I fell for another one, Mr. Al Gore. Al (I’m sure he wouldn’t mind if I called him by his first name) came to DC to give a presentation for the We Campaign. Greenette sent me an invitation, so I clicked through, got my free ticket and headed off to DAR Constitution Hall yesterday along with my 3,699 best friends.

Al’s presentation was truly inspirational (click here for the transcript). With his slight southern accent and relaxed presence, I felt like he was talking directly to me about all the things I CAN do (even though I was waaay in the back). It’s always nice to hear what we CAN do versus things that cannot be done. It was also nice that there was a limited amount of politicking in the presentation (though there were some slightly crazy protesters outside).

Al’s concept was that the US move to use of entirely carbon-free fuel and electricity (bye bye petrochemicals and coal!) within TEN years. His inspiration: JFK’s similarly ambitious dedication to putting a man on the moon in ten years (we did it in just over 8). His arguments for why this is possible were quite compelling: the US has vast renewable resources including sunlight, wind, and geothermal. All of which can be tapped at a relatively low cost, particularly when compared to skyrocketing economic and environmental costs for oil and coal. His arguments for why we HAVE to do it were equally compelling: environment, economy (hello job creation!), national security (no more borrowing money from China to pay Saudi Arabia).

The one thing missing was behavioral change: all this is good, but we need to think about our own personal choices. How do we reduce demand for fuel/electricity? How do we drive less? How do we plan better?

Overall, great presentation Al. I’ll be sure to let my hubby know he has some competition.

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