Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Al Gore visits the Pacific Northwest to talk about his new book, Our Choice

Vice President Al Gore is back in our beautiful corner of the country this week to talk about his new book Our Choice, which is a sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, although Gore wrote The Assault on Reason in between.

Our Choice focuses on solutions to the climate crisis, rather than trying to explain the climate crisis (which Gore's 2006 book and Academy Award-winning documentary film did do rather successfully).

Gore writes in the introduction:
During the three and a half years since the publication and release of An Inconvenient Truth, I have organized and moderated more than 30 lengthy and intensive “Solutions Summits” where leading experts from around the world have come to discuss and share their knowledge of and experience in subjects relevant to the construction of a plan to solve this crisis.
I had the opportunity to listen to Al talk about Our Choice earlier today, and he remains optimistic that it is not too late to solve the climate crisis, although he warned that we must act expeditiously to avoid the worst consequeneces:
As governments prepare for next month's global climate summit in Copenhagen, "the stated goal of negotiators is to enact measures that will have a 50 percent chance of avoiding dangerous consequences," Gore said, as if joking. "That is the very definition of recklessness."
Worse, the United States has surrendered the overwhelmiing lead it once had in renewable energy technology by dithering and letting giant oil companies like ExxonMobil dictate our nation's energy policy:
In solar energy, Americans first developed photovoltaic cells, but only one of the 10 leading manufacturers is based in this country, Gore noted. "Only one of the top 10 wind manufacturers is in the United States."
Gore's observation has fortunately not been lost on Democratic leaders, including Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who recently made public his opposition to providing stimulus money to a pair of companies with plans to build a wind-farm in Texas with Chinese made turbines.

The two companies (U.S. Renewable Energy Group and A-Power Energy Generation Systems) announced today, however, that they've decided to produce and assemble turbines at a new facility in the United States, which is a win for American jobs, although the companies have not pledged to rely on their forthcoming U.S. facility to supply turbines for the big Texas wind farm they've planned.

Gore's schedule in the Pacific Northwest seems to be a busy one. He also spoke with Seattle Times reporter Craig Welch today and appeared at an event at Town Hall, hosted by Kim Ricketts' outfit, which was sold out long in advance. Gore will be in Oregon tomorrow; Repower America is organizing a rally in support of Our Choice outside Portland's Keller Auditorium, where he is speaking.


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