World needs another ‘hero generation’, says Al Gore

Posted by Alastair Otter on April 15, 2008
Posted in Green News

As important it is to change the lightbulbs, it’s more important to change the laws, says Nobel Prize-winning climate campaigner Al Gore in a new slide show he gave in February at the TED talks in Monterray, California.

Gore wants this generation to rise to the environmental challenge presented to us by climate change, which he calls a ‘planetary emergency’, by mobilising the political will to do something about it.

Gore says environmental problems can be classified into the same three categories military conflicts typicaly are: local battles; regional wars; and the rare but all-important world wars. Each level of conflict requires a different allocation of resources, approach and organisational model. Most of the environmental issues we think about – air pollution, water pollution, hazardous waste dumps – are local. There are also regional environmental problems, like acid rain in one area originating from industrial pollution in another. The climate crisis is a global problem, he says. “Everything is affected.”

“We need to organise our response appropriately. We need a worldwide global mobilisation for renewable energy, conservation, efficiency and a global transition to a low-carbon economy. We need to mobilise resources, but the political will needs to be mobilised in order to mobilise the resources,” he says.

To do this we need “another hero generation”, he says. ” We have to find a way to create a sense of generational mission.”

He uses the African saying that “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. He says we have to go far quickly so we have to have a change in consciousness, and a commitment to a new sense of urgency.

The world has the capacity to do something about global warming, he says. Just one week’s worth of the spending on the Iraq war would put us well on the way to solving this problem.

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