The New Optimism of Al Gore
Al Gore wants to make a point about cellphones, and he has a helpful set of slides on his laptop. “Do you want to see that?” he asks, and starts to turn the MacBook around.
(From The New York Times / by John Schwartz)– It’s not two hours — don’t worry.”
Mr. Gore knows he is The Guy With the Slides, the man who will talk about the environment until you can no longer remember the color of the sky. He long ago mastered the self-deprecating gestures that let you know that he knows what you are thinking. And then he shows you the slides anyway.
Slides have been very good to the former vice president of the United States, almost president, environmental activist and now successful green investor. His slide show on the threat of climate change, presented in the movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” won an Academy Award. His efforts to spread the word about global warming earned him, along with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a Nobel Peace Prize. His was a dire call to strenuous and difficult action.
Over the last year, however, the prophet of doom has become much more a prophet of possibility — even, perhaps, an optimist. Still an object of derision for the political right, Mr. Gore has seen support for his views rising within the business community: Investment in renewable energy sources like wind and solar is skyrocketing as their costs plummet. He has slides for that, too. Experts predicted in 2000 that wind generated power worldwide would reach 30 gigawatts; by 2010, it was 200 gigawatts, and by last year it reached nearly 370, or more than 12 times higher. Installations of solar power would add one new gigawatt per year by 2010, predictions in 2002 stated. It turned out to be 17 times that by 2010 and 48 times that amount last year.
Read the full article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/17/science/the-new-optimism-of-al-gore.html?_r=1