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Wed Oct 28, 2015, 05:44 AM

Al Gore: Optimist?

Al Gore: Optimist?
by Michael Grunwald
Politico

In a Miami conference center the size of a football field, 1,200 climate activists are getting ready to watch a slide show....

...Snip....

.....The former vice president still begins and ends his presentation with photos of the earth from space, iconic reminders of what’s at stake. He still lectures in that much-mocked wooden style, with sporadic flashes of passion detectable more by changes in volume than delivery. The big difference in the updated version of the slide show is that a decade ago, Gore mostly warned about what could happen. Now he shows what’s already happening.



It’s scary stuff, and it’s supposed to be. Some of it is visually scary, like a downpour that looks like an airborne tidal wave descending on Tucson, Arizona, or a helicopter rescuing residents of an apartment complex floating down a Japanese street. Some of it is intellectually scary, like charts illustrating how 14 of the 15 hottest years ever recorded have been recorded since 2000, how extremely hot days have become 100 times more common in just three decades, how climate change is driving unprecedented droughts, floods, wildfires and mudslides. Gore constantly updates his presentation: At least a dozen of his slides in Miami were from the previous few months, including news footage of Biscayne Bay flooding local streets the previous night.

...Big huge Snip...worth reading at link....

....IT’S DEPRESSING STUFF, and Gore knows it. In fact, before he began his presentation, he warned the trainees that when they delivered their own versions, they would have to work within a time budget, for obvious reasons; a complexity budget, because there are only so many tough concepts an audience can digest; and a “hope budget,” because audiences also have limited tolerance for doom and gloom.

“Despair is paralyzing,” he told the crowd. “When people feel like there’s no hope—well, might as well party on; let’s not worry about the problem. We need to deliver the message that we’re winning. The hope is real. It’s not a forced smile.”

Gore gives his audiences plenty of reasons to hope—the decline of coal in the U.S., the global solar boom, the upcoming climate talks in Paris, the vocal support of Pope Francis. He cites Wall Street reports on how clean energy is getting cheaper than coal in much of the world. He notes that Costa Rica was powered entirely by renewables for 100 straight days, and that Christiana Figueres, a Costa Rican who is a top United Nations official, was a graduate of his slide-show training.

At times, though, his smile seemed a bit forced. I told him later that I think of him as a glass-half-empty guy. On the campaign trail, it always looked like his handlers had to remind him 10 times a day that America loves optimists, and after his wrenching defeat in 2000, he seemed even more like a missionary who was spreading the gospel because he knew it was the right thing to do even though he doubted the heathen would get the message. But he told me no, he’s very much an optimist. I mentioned the hope budget, and he said that’s just a tactic for building political will because unrelenting bad news can create a feeling of futility.

“That doesn’t mean I’m prone to that feeling,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 40 years. I’m not vulnerable to that.”

A moment later, though, he revised and extended his remarks.

“I guess I would modify that slightly,” he said. “Anyone who works on the climate issue has an internal dialogue, the struggle between hope and despair. All my colleagues struggle with that. But I’ve always come down on the side of hope.”...

http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2015/10/al-gore-optimist-000295


Click here to read the author's full interview with Al Gore.

I thought this article & Gore's words was so apropos for our group here. We have a struggle it seems with that concept of hopelessness vs hope. I'll always fall on the side of hope. We have to at least try. Mother Nature is extremely resilient.




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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Al Gore: Optimist? (Original post)
RiverLover Oct 2015 OP
newfie11 Oct 2015 #1
RiverLover Oct 2015 #2
GliderGuider Oct 2015 #3
RiverLover Oct 2015 #6
GliderGuider Oct 2015 #7
Fast Walker 52 Oct 2015 #8
The2ndWheel Oct 2015 #12
Fast Walker 52 Oct 2015 #13
GliderGuider Oct 2015 #14
Fast Walker 52 Oct 2015 #15
tecelote Oct 2015 #4
RiverLover Oct 2015 #5
Fast Walker 52 Oct 2015 #9
sue4e3 Oct 2015 #10
tecelote Oct 2015 #11
The2ndWheel Oct 2015 #16

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 06:20 AM

1. Thank you for posting this

When his presidency was stolen the world lost. He was right about the Environment way back then and people made fun of him.
Some now are listening but many aren't especially big corporations.

I hope people wake up before its to late but human nature being what it is I doubt it.

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 06:30 AM

2. You hope, newfie.

That's what matters. So many people around the world are doing so many wonderful things to lower our carbon output. And its our hope & support & belief that we can save sustainable life on earth that will save future generations.

If we give up, we are doomed for certain.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 06:30 AM

3. The other way to look at it is that Al is afraid of telling the whole truth.

 

It's not so much that people have a "limited tolerance for doom and gloom" so much as they have a limited tolerance for unpalatable truths. We dislike painful emotions and will go to enormous lengths to protect ourselves from them. If the truth is painful, we will find emotionally acceptable substitutes for the truth, or become very selective about which parts of the truth we will allow to penetrate our defenses.

"We need to deliver the message that we’re winning ... that’s just a tactic for building political will because unrelenting bad news can create a feeling of futility."

In the face of the unpleasant truth - not just about climate change but also about the few dozen other dimensions of the cataclysmic impact humans are having on the world - there are are other possible responses than just despair or futility. Unfortunately, for a strongly acculturated Westerner, arriving at those responses takes far more inner work than can be accomplished during a Powerpoint lecture. But they are far more honest and realistic than Al's egregiously paternalistic approach.

I detest paternalism and will repudiate it at every opportunity..

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 07:36 AM

6. Party on!

“When people feel like there’s no hope—well, might as well party on; let’s not worry about the problem....

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 07:57 AM

7. False choice, either-or fallacy

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

A false dilemma (also called false dichotomy, false binary, black-and-white thinking, bifurcation, denying a conjunct, the either–or fallacy, fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses, the fallacy of false choice, the fallacy of the false alternative, or the fallacy of the excluded middle) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which only limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #3)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 08:20 AM

8. I'm not sure why his approach is paternalistic... just seems like a reasonable approach

 

given the problem you admit that people have-- "limited tolerance for unpalatable truths. We dislike painful emotions and will go to enormous lengths to protect ourselves from them. If the truth is painful, we will find emotionally acceptable substitutes for the truth, or become very selective about which parts of the truth we will allow to penetrate our defenses. "

Climate action needs action, not despair.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #8)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 05:01 PM

12. Or it needs less action

But we're human doings, not human beings. We love to do. We force ourselves to do. We go to work every day because something has to be done, even if nothing is going on.

Climate change, and all of our various environmental issues, may need the one thing that we can't do.

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Response to The2ndWheel (Reply #12)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 06:11 PM

13. I know what you mean, but we still need large scale action and some sort of govt policy

 

to limit emissions.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 07:17 PM

14. In order to stop CO2 concentrations from rising any further

 

We would have to eliminate 99.95% of all CO2 emissions. No more oil, coal, gas, cement or land-use changes. Just to stabilize CO2 at 400 ppm. Unless we do that, the concentration will keep rising, along with the temperature. Those are the laws of physics. There is no action, or inaction, on the face of the planet that can change the laws of physics.

We are in a situation where the only choice left open to us is how much more damage we want to do, and how fast we want to do it.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #14)

Thu Oct 29, 2015, 03:58 PM

15. yes, and also what the possible endgame is

 

unless we produce some sort of massive CO2-harvesting machines that can scour the atmosphere.

My big worry is the oxygen supply going down, as the oceans die.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 07:13 AM

4. The world will survive us.

The question is if we can survive ourselves. Sadly, it seems many don't care as long as their lifetime is content. Exxon didn't want global warming fears to reduce stockholder's returns. The rest of us be damned.

As a whole, we deserve what we get. It would be easier for me if I believed in a God who would smite the wicked. But I don't. I believe we are all going to live or die by the combined will and wisdom of our species.

Al Gore is one of the sages and gives me hope. If only he had replaced the Bush years with his as President, we'd be in a much better place.

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Response to tecelote (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 07:36 AM

5. Yes we would. If only.

It was a tragically sad turn of events for the world when he lost / had election stolen. Lost opportunities are still ongoing today, though none as clear & definable as that point in time, all in the name of greed.

We need to get money out of politics.

THAT is what I believe will save future generations. Along with all the incredible plants & animals on the planet.

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Response to tecelote (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 08:23 AM

9. yes, the world will go on, and I'm sure some people will survive no matter what.

 

That is the nature of life and our adaptable species.

The world will be a very different place though.

I do so wish Gore had been president, of course. He's got flaws but he would have been a great and humane president.

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Response to tecelote (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 08:32 AM

10. I am a christian and do believe in God , I just wanted to say ,

that I don't believe God will smite any one here. we're all just human. We will live and die by the choices we make. I don't believe we're babies in a playpen (free will's a b----).If you believe you just don't have to be alone in it. I highly doubt my thoughts are wanted but I couldn't help myself.

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Response to sue4e3 (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 28, 2015, 08:48 AM

11. I respect your belief and appreciate your comments.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Thu Oct 29, 2015, 06:20 PM

16. China wants more people

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