Several thousand mostly naive under 25 year olds frolicked in Washington DC last weekend at the Power Shift conference, a youth oriented untransparently funded climate organization, learning to reclaim our democracy from big corporations and push our nation to move beyond dirty energy sources that are harming the health of people and the planet.
Academy Award winner, former vice president and sore loser presidential candidate Al Gore co-keynoted with 9/11 truther and President Barack Obama's (D) former Green Jobs Czar Van Jones.
Speaking to the willingly gullible and basically uninformed, Gore unleashed an often fact challenged diatribe on climate change and energy.
"It's true that governments by and large have been politically paralyzed because the energy companies, the coal companies, the oil companies, the coal-burning utilities, they have spent enormous amounts of money and they have succeeded in many countries in paralyzing the political process," the former vice president said.
"Putting a price on carbon" is the goal of cap-and-trade plans and other proposals to ensure emissions cuts, but such measures face gigantic hurdles in the current Congress.
Perhaps that is because cap and trade would be a financial disaster for the country.
Distorting the history of the Civil Rights movement and its brave participants,
Gore said the Civil Rights movement was fueled by youth questioning their parents about legal discrimination, and he drew a link to climate change.
"When they could not answer that moral question coming straight from the conscience of young people, that is when the laws began to change," Gore said. "You need to ask, ‘tell me again why its al right to put 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every 24 hours, 20 percent of it will still be there in 20,000 years.'"
"You need to ask that question and other related questions. Don't they see the evidence, don't they hear what the scientists are saying, do they actually believe this lying from the large carbon polluters, that the scientists are making this up?" Gore added.
He went on the offensive against climate change deniers, citing a litany of extreme weather events - ranging from floods in Pakistan to droughts in the U.S. southwest - and noted that nine of the 10 hottest years on record have occurred in the last 12 years.
Ps-s-st Al! There is a difference between weather and climate.
"You cannot negotiate with the laws of physics," Gore said of global warming. "You can't amend the laws of physics, you have got to respond to reality as we find it, and it takes courage and it takes leadership."
He called combating climate change in the country's economic interest, comparing unchecked emissions to the subprime mortgage bubble that proved so damaging.
"We have got trillions of dollars of subprime carbon assets whose value depends on the assumption that it is perfectly all right to put these 90 million tons of pollution into the atmosphere every 24 hours," Gore said.
"It's not all right. And it's not all right to borrow all of the money from China to buy the oil from Saudi Arabia-dominated global oil markets, and then burn it in ways that destroy our future. We need to change every bit of that," Gore added, while stating that low-carbon technologies bring jobs with them.
Uhm Spain ultimately abandoned green energy programs after losing millions without gaining jobs, as did many areas in the US.
Gore is absolutely correct that "it's not all right to borrow all of the money from China to buy the oil from Saudi Arabia-dominated markets" so why doesn't he encourage his pal the President to grant more drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico and to drill, drill, drill in this country? Not only would that would keep the money in this country, not in China or Saudi Arabia, it would provide badly needed jobs.
But are Gore's speeches on conserving energy and using low carbon technologies one of the reasons he abandoned his home--and wife--in Tennessee? According to a widely circulated four year old e mail verified by internet legend buster snopes.com , Gore's Tennessee home is
A beautiful 28-room ranch.
This home comes with pool, pool house, and a separate guest house. All heated by the warmth of natural gas
The problem is that even though this home is only 4 times larger than an average home, it consumes 12 times more energy in just one month than an average American home uses "in an entire year."
The average bill for electricity and natural gas for this lovely Ranch is more than $2,400 per month. In natural gas alone, (a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not situated in an Alaskan or Snow Belt area.
Perhaps spurred by the hypocrisy the Gores made some energy efficient changes to their mansion before their split; though not the energy guzzler, carbon spewer it once was, several American families could still live comfortably in the residence automatically decreasing energy consumption.