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Al Gore is back to talk about climate change with a message of hope

Al Gore is back with his fourth Ted Talk about climate change. What’s new? His message is optimistic and gives us hope for our future.

Who loved An Inconvenient Truth, Davis Guggenheim’s documentary film about climate change that won two Academy Awards in 2007, probably can’t help welcoming with relief the latest “interpretation” of Al Gore, United States Vice President during Bill Clinton’s administration and Nobel Peace Prize, in his latest (the fourth) Ted Talk. Recorded in Vancouver, Canada, in February, Gore bets on optimism, leaving behind the man who used to warn “before it’s too late” and embodying a great statesman who, following the Paris climate change conference, reviews all the good things done. It seems like Gore, as a great leader he is, realised it’s time to inspire the public and encourage people to keep on walking the path towards a sustainable development, far from greenhouse gases.

 

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

3 questions about the future of climate

Al Gore has three questions about climate change and our future. First: Do we have to change? Each day, global-warming pollution traps as much heat energy as would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs. This trapped heat is leading to stronger storms and more extreme floods. It’s no coincidence that such energy led the last 14 years to be the hottest in history, with the highest peak in 2015.

 

© Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for Free The Children
© Anthony Harvey/Getty Images for Free The Children

 

Second question: Can we change? The answer is yes, we can. And we’ve already started. This leads to the third question: Will we change? Gore answers with passion. The passion of a man who dedicated the last 20 years of his life to this challenge.

 

One of the greatest poets of the last century in the US, Wallace Stevens, wrote a line that has stayed with me: “After the final ‘no,’ there comes a ‘yes,’ and on that ‘yes’, the future world depends.” When the abolitionists started their movement, they met with no after no after no. And then came a yes. The Women’s Suffrage and Women’s Rights Movement met endless no’s, until finally, there was a yes. The Civil Rights Movement, the movement against apartheid, and more recently, the movement for gay and lesbian rights here in the United States and elsewhere. After the final “no” comes a “yes.”

 

When any great moral challenge is ultimately resolved into a binary choice between what is right and what is wrong, the outcome is fore-ordained because of who we are as human beings. Ninety-nine percent of us, that is where we are now and it is why we’re going to win this. We have everything we need. Some still doubt that we have the will to act, but I say the will to act is itself a renewable resource.

 

(Al Gore, The case for optimism on climate change, Ted talk)

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