8:11 “We’ve got the tools, they are in this book. we have everything with the possible exception of political will. But ladies and gentlemen, political will is a renewable resource,” Gore said. The event is now over. Gore received a standing ovation. Those with books in the audience are now waiting to have their book signed. Thanks for reading, we hope you found this to be an informative live blog! Good night.
8:10 Gore just asked how many students at GW have in the last three years formed a determination to focus on things to be a solution to the climate crisis. Dozens of hands were raised, and the audience applauded. Gore said he was 13 years old when he heard President John F. Kennedy say he wanted to land someone on the moon. He said many people thought that was a foolish commitment. Gore said, however, that Americans accomplished that goal. He said the people who believed in the goal were the young people of that generation.”Those of you who raised your hands represent the future of this world… you are the greatest asset we have going for us today,” Gore said.
8:04 “There are ways we can form goals based on deep values and keep on our course for a sufficient period of time to solve this crisis,” Gore said, in reference to political solutions to the environmental crisis. “This is not a political issue, this is the moral issue of the present generation,” Gore said. This sentiment drew a loud applause from the crowd.
8:02 Brazil and Indonesia are the biggest culprits for deforestation, Gore said. Gore said it is necessary to build back the world’s forests in order to improve the environment. Gore said the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen will be important to try and solve this problem.
8:00 “The biggest new source of energy is efficiency. The old technologies that are in common usage today, are for the most part incredibly inefficient,” Gore said. He added that 65 percent of energy from coal burning plants is used, the rest is wasted. Gore said that with new technology, it is possible to substitute old technologies with “far more efficient technologies.”
7:58 Gore is now talking about nuclear energy. He said that during his eight years in the White House, every problem with nuclear proliferation came from these nuclear enriching energy plants. He drew a comparison to Iran possibly trying to begin a nuclear proliferation program. Gore said it is hard to promote nuclear energy because the world does not want certain countries to have access to these nuclear technologies for safety reasons.
7:52 It takes a lot of time, money and energy in order to capture geothermal energy, Gore said. It also can be unsafe, and it will take a lot of time, money and effort to find the sources of geothermal energy. He said this energy source does work and can be used, but wont be the option of choice most of the time because of the difficulties and expenses necessary to capture it.
7:50 Gore is now talking about the economic issues with new, renewable sources of energy. He said the government will need to subsidize these new sources of energy in order to get them off the ground.
7:46 Wind energy is now Gore’s topic of choice. Gore said we are not using wind resources enough because we do not have the technology to do so. Gore moved onto geothermal power, and said it is a widely overlooked source of power. Two kilometers below the earth’s surface, there is an abundance of heat that can also serve as a source of energy. “There is enough heat in much places to generate enormous quantities of energy,” Gore said. He added that there are now six publicly traded companies focused on marketing this source of energy.
7:37 Gore moved onto his third chapter, the sources of renewable energy: wind, solar and geothermal energy. Gore said solar energy is the future, and scientists are working on improving ways of harboring that energy. “They are getting very good about capturing it and converting it into energy,” Gore said, referring to scientists capturing the sun’s energy. He said this form of energy is growing across the world, and other countries are utilizing solar energy better than the U.S. Gore said solar energy is actually a cost effective energy source and will save people money in the future. Gore said, however, that the only way these technologies will become cheap and accessible, is if people show a demand for it. This is the heart of Gore’s book, talking about the way improving the environment can actually be cost effective.
7:36 Gore is now talking about the second chapter of the book, which focuses on energy sources across the globe. He said the single largest factor to global warming is energy. “The ways in which we burn coal and oil are horribly inefficient.” He said natural gas is an important fossil fuel, and can help de-carbonize our society. He said diesel fuel should be traded for natural gas, as it is a cleaner energy source. Gore also said the electric vehicle fleet is a great way to reduce emissions from energy.
7:29 The former vice president and Nobel Laureate is discussing the major factors to global warming. Carbon dioxide, or Co2, is a large factor to global warming. He said it is the exhaling breath of the modern industrial society, and said it is very difficult to make changes in reducing these emissions. He said its half of the problem. Gore added that methane is another major factor to global warming. Methane comes from industrial livestock farming and coal burning, as well as rice farming that relies on flooded fields. A lesser known factor to global warming is soot, Gore said. He said much of the soot comes from the burning and destruction of forests across the globe. Gore said this soot stays on glaciers. Because the soot is black, it absorbs the sun and speeds up the melting process of glaciers.
7:23 Gore is telling jokes now. He said that while he was writing the book, he was sitting in a fast food restaurant with a friend. A woman walked by him and gave him an odd stare two times. Gore said he said hello to the woman, who proceeded to say to him, “Do you know if you dyed your hair black you would look just like Al Gore.” The joke drew laughter from the crowd.
7:20 Gore said he is donating 100 percent of the profits of his new book to the Alliance for Climate Protection. Gore is not a static speaker, and is walking back and forth across the stage as he delivers his lecture to the audience.
7:19 Gore just took the stage to a standing ovation from the crowd.
7:16 The president of Politics and Prose is now speaking, and said the bookstore is committed to the sustainability movement. She said she cannot understand how everyone in the U.S. is not on board with the movement, and said she feels Gore’s new book will be a great tool to get more Americans on board with the “Green Revolution.”
7:13 Knapp is highlighting GW’s commitment to sustainability, and said that the University wants “to make sure we practice what we teach” in terms of lessoning GW’s impact on the environment. Knapp said he views Gore as a leader in the sustainability movement, and told the audience that we are lucky to have Gore as a speaker here tonight.
7:11 The event is now underway. University President Steven Knapp is welcoming the audience. Gore’s wife, Tipper, is in the audience, as well as members of the Board of Trustees and the D.C. government.
7:07 We are still waiting for the event to start. Before we get underway, take a look at this article in Newsweek for a better explanation of the focus Gore’s new book, which he will talk about tonight. The difference between An Inconvenient Truth and Our Choice, according to this article, is that Gore’s focus has shifted from the individual and their impact on the environment, to corporate America and how big companies can make changes to lessen their environmental impact.
7:00 Gore’s book is a follow-up to an An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s award-winning documentary about the environment. According to a blog post on Gore’s Web site, “An Inconvenient Truth reached millions of people with the message that the climate crisis is threatening the future of human civilization and that it must and can be solved. Now that the need for urgent action is even clearer with the alarming new findings of the last three years, it is time for a comprehensive global plan that actually solves the climate crisis. Our Choice will answer that call.”
6:54 The event is scheduled to start in a few minutes. It is a full house here in Lisner and the crowd is anxiously awaiting Gore’s appearance.
6:50 Gore appeared last night on the Colbert Report, where he debated the comedian on global warming.
6:48 This is not the first time Gore has made an appearance on campus. He came to GW in 2007 for an environmental conference. The event was hosted by the GW Law School and was not open to the public or media.
6:41 Hey all, welcome to the live blog for tonight’s event with former Vice President Al Gore. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is being held in Lisner Auditorium. The former vice president will be promoting his new book, “Our Choice,” which focuses on climate change. The event begins in about 15 minutes, and the auditorium is quickly filling up. About 400 students are in the audience, as well as members of the D.C. community. The event is being held in conjunction with Politics and Prose, a bookstore in northwest D.C. that often hosts prominent authors. Stay with us as we offer live updates and analysis of the event!