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Gore's Challenge: 100% Carbon Neutral by 2018

I've always been a big fan of Al Gore...he's been a powerful public figure for my entire political life. My first vote ever was cast for him. So I'm pretty happy to listen when he talks, and very much enjoy what he has to say. But I don't tend to be surprised by what he says. He's had a lot of the same ideas for a long time now.

But today, I am surprised. In a speech in D.C. Al challenged America to produce 100% of it's power from carbon-free sources in ten years.

I'm an EcoGeek, possibly the biggest EcoGeek you know. So I'm optimistic about these things. I know that there are a lot of technologies out there that, if they spring forth from the lab and into widespread use, could make collassal differences in the way we produce power.

But this is a big, football-sized. The lifespan of a coal-fired power plant is between 30 and 50 years. Power companies build these things with those 30 to 50 years in mind. They aren't going to dismantle them when they're 15 years old without some gigantic form of compensation.

Gore makes only cursory mention of carbon capture and storage technology. I personally believe that the technology and infrastructure necessary to implement CCS on a large scale is not going to happen in less than 10 years. In my opnion, we really are going to have to wait for the coal plants to die rather than figure out how to store their carbon.

I did enjoy the way Gore portrayed the issue though. It's no longer that global warming is the how to get viagra largest catastrophe that man will ever face (his previous strategy.) Now he's focusing the whole suite of problems that can be solved with renewable energy: job creation at home, removal of reliance on other nations for our power, sustainability, poullution and global warming. It's worth noting that we don't burn (much) oil for power, but in two years, we may be filling up at the plug, rather than the pump anyway.

Gore's primary path for getting to carbon neturality, it seems, is carbon taxes. I 100% agree that this is the way to do it. Unfortunately, I don't see very many congress people being too enthusiastic about increasing the price of gasoline more. Obama praised the speech, and said that his candidacy would bring many of these changes (certainly more than a McCain presidency) but didn't endorse, or even mention, the 10-year deadline.

That is probably because the 10-year deadline seems a little insane. Gore's insistence on it's practicality is somewhat puzzling to me. But I certainly don't mind crazy goals. We spend a heck of a lot of money in this country. It'd be nice to spend it on an effort to strengthen the free online sample viagra country at the core...rather than weaken itself by over-extension in an attempt to lock up the last little pockets of oil on the planet.

You can read the full text of the speech below.

Ladies and gentlemen:

There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more – if more should be required – the future of human civilization is at stake.

I don’t remember a time in our country when so many things seemed to be going so wrong simultaneously. Our economy is in terrible shape and getting worse, gasoline prices are increasing dramatically, and so are electricity rates. Jobs are being outsourced. Home mortgages are in trouble. Banks, automobile companies and other institutions we depend upon are under growing pressure. Distinguished senior business leaders are telling us that this is just the beginning unless we find the courage to make some major changes quickly.

The climate crisis, in particular, is getting a lot worse – much more quickly than predicted. Scientists with access to data from Navy submarines traversing underneath the North polar ice cap have warned that there is now a 75 percent chance that within five years the entire ice cap will completely disappear during the summer months. This will further increase the melting pressure on Greenland. According to experts, the Jakobshavn glacier, one of Greenland’s largest, is moving at a faster rate than ever before, losing 20 million tons of ice every day, equivalent to the amount of water used every year by the residents of New York City.

Two major studies from military intelligence experts have warned our leaders about the dangerous national security implications of the climate crisis, including the possibility of hundreds of millions of climate refugees destabilizing nations around the world.

Just two days ago, 27 senior statesmen and retired military leaders warned of the national security threat from an “energy tsunami” that would be triggered by a loss of our access to foreign oil. Meanwhile, the war in Iraq continues, and now the war in Afghanistan appears to be getting worse.

And by the way, our weather sure is getting strange, isn’t it? There seem to be more tornadoes than in living memory, longer droughts, bigger downpours and record floods. Unprecedented fires are burning in California and elsewhere in the American West. Higher temperatures lead to drier vegetation that makes kindling for mega-fires of the kind that have been raging in Canada, Greece, Russia, China, South America, Australia and Africa. Scientists in the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Science at Tel Aviv University tell us that for every one degree increase in temperature, lightning strikes will go up another 10 percent. And it is lightning, after all, that is principally responsible for igniting the conflagration in California today.

Like a lot of people, it seems to me that all these problems are bigger than any of the solutions that have thus far been proposed for them, and that’s been worrying me.

I’m convinced that one reason we’ve seemed paralyzed in the face of these crises is our tendency to offer old solutions to each crisis separately – without taking the others into account. And these outdated proposals have not only been ineffective – they almost always make the other crises even worse.

Yet when we look at all three of these seemingly intractable challenges at the same time, we can see the common thread running through them, deeply ironic in its simplicity: our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels is at the core of all three of these challenges – the economic, environmental and national security crises.

We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that’s got to change.

But if we grab hold of that common thread and pull it hard, all of these complex problems begin to unravel and we will find that we’re holding the answer to all of them right in our hand.

The answer is to end our reliance on carbon-based fuels.

In my search for genuinely effective answers to the climate crisis, I have held a series of “solutions summits” with engineers, scientists, and CEOs. In those discussions, one thing has become abundantly clear: when you connect the dots, it turns out that the real solutions to the climate crisis are the very same measures needed to renew our economy and escape the trap of ever-rising energy prices. Moreover, they are also the very same solutions we need to guarantee our national security without having to go to war in the Persian Gulf.

What if we could use fuels that are not expensive, don't cause pollution and are abundantly available right here at home?

We have such fuels. Scientists have confirmed that enough solar energy falls on the surface of the earth every 40 minutes to meet 100 percent of the entire world’s energy needs for a full year. Tapping just a small portion of this solar energy could provide all of the electricity America uses.

And enough wind power blows through the Midwest corridor every day to also meet 100 percent of US electricity demand. Geothermal energy, similarly, is capable of providing enormous supplies of electricity for America.

The quickest, cheapest and best way to start using all this renewable energy is in the production of electricity. In fact, we can start right now using solar power, wind power and geothermal power to make electricity for our homes and businesses.

But to make this exciting potential a reality, and truly solve our nation’s problems, we need a new start.

That’s why I’m proposing today a strategic initiative designed to free us from the crises that are holding us down and to regain control of our own destiny. It’s not the only thing we need to do. But this strategic challenge is the lynchpin of a bold new strategy needed to re-power America.

Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.

This goal is achievable, affordable and transformative. It represents a challenge to all Americans – in every walk of life: to our political leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers, and to every citizen.

A few years ago, it would not have been possible to issue such a challenge. But here’s what’s changed: the sharp cost reductions now beginning to take place in solar, wind, and geothermal power – coupled with the recent dramatic price increases for oil and coal – have radically changed the economics of energy.

When I first went to Congress 32 years ago, I listened to experts testify that if oil ever got to $35 a barrel, then renewable sources of energy would become competitive. Well, today, the price of oil is over $135 per barrel. And sure enough, billions of dollars of new investment are flowing into the development of concentrated solar thermal, photovoltaics, windmills, geothermal plants, and a variety of ingenious new ways to improve our efficiency and conserve presently wasted energy.

And as the demand for renewable energy grows, the costs will continue to fall. Let me give you one revealing example: the price of the specialized silicon used to make solar cells was recently as high as $300 per kilogram. But the newest contracts have prices as low as $50 a kilogram.

You know, the same thing happened with computer chips – also made out of silicon. The price paid for the same performance came down by 50 percent every 18 months – year after year, and that’s what’s happened for 40 years in a row.

To those who argue that we do not yet have the technology to accomplish these results with renewable energy: I ask them to come with me to meet the entrepreneurs who will drive this revolution. I’ve seen what they are doing and I have no doubt that we can meet this challenge.

To those who say the costs are still too high: I ask them to consider whether the costs of oil and coal will ever stop increasing if we keep relying on quickly depleting energy sources to feed a rapidly growing demand all around the world. When demand for oil and coal increases, their price goes up. When demand for solar cells increases, the price often comes down.

When we send money to foreign countries to buy nearly 70 percent of the oil we use every day, they build new skyscrapers and we lose jobs. When we spend that money building solar arrays and windmills, we build competitive industries and gain jobs here at home.

Of course there are those who will tell us this can't be done. Some of the voices we hear are the defenders of the status quo – the ones with a vested interest in perpetuating the current system, no matter how high a price the rest of us will have to pay. But even those who reap the profits of the carbon age have to recognize the inevitability of its demise. As one OPEC oil minister observed, “The Stone Age didn’t end because of a shortage of stones.”

To those who say 10 years is not enough time, I respectfully ask them to consider what the world's scientists are telling us about the risks we face if we don’t act in 10 years. The leading experts predict that we have less than 10 years to make dramatic changes in our global warming pollution lest we lose our ability to ever recover from this environmental crisis. When the use of oil and coal goes up, pollution goes up. When the use of solar, wind and geothermal increases, pollution comes down.

To those who say the challenge is not politically viable: I suggest they go before the American people and try to defend the status quo. Then bear witness to the people's appetite for change.

I for one do not believe our country can withstand 10 more years of the status quo. Our families cannot stand 10 more years of gas price increases. Our workers cannot stand 10 more years of job losses and outsourcing of factories. Our economy cannot stand 10 more years of sending $2 billion every 24 hours to foreign countries for oil. And our soldiers and their families cannot take another 10 years of repeated troop deployments to dangerous regions that just happen to have large oil supplies.

What could we do instead for the next 10 years? What should we do during the next 10 years? Some of our greatest accomplishments as a nation have resulted from commitments to reach a goal that fell well beyond the next election: the Marshall Plan, Social Security, the interstate highway system. But a political promise to do something 40 years from now is universally ignored because everyone knows that it’s meaningless. Ten years is about the maximum time that we as a nation can hold a steady aim and hit our target.

When President John F. Kennedy challenged our nation to land a man on the moon and where to find cialis bring him back safely in 10 years, many people doubted we could accomplish that goal. But 8 years and 2 months later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface of the moon.

To be sure, reaching the goal of 100 percent renewable and truly clean electricity within 10 years will require us to overcome many obstacles. At present, for example, we do not have a unified national grid that is sufficiently advanced to link the areas where the sun shines and the wind blows to the cities in the East and the West that need the electricity. Our national electric grid is critical infrastructure, as vital to the health and security of our economy as our highways and telecommunication networks. Today, our grids are antiquated, fragile, and vulnerable to cascading failure. Power outages and defects in the current grid system cost US businesses more than $120 billion dollars a year. It has to be upgraded anyway.

We could further increase the value and efficiency of a Unified National Grid by helping our struggling auto giants switch to the manufacture of plug-in electric cars. An electric vehicle fleet would sharply reduce the cost of driving a car, reduce pollution, and increase the flexibility of our electricity grid.

At the same time, of course, we need to greatly improve our commitment to efficiency and conservation. That’s the best investment we can make.

America's transition to renewable energy sources must also include adequate provisions to assist those Americans who would unfairly face hardship. For example, we must recognize those who have toiled in dangerous conditions to bring us our present energy supply. We should guarantee good jobs in the fresh air and sunshine for any coal miner displaced by impacts on the coal industry. Every single one of them.

Of course, we could and should speed up this transition by insisting that the price of carbon-based energy include the costs of the environmental damage it causes. I have long supported a sharp reduction in payroll taxes with the difference made up in CO2 taxes. We should tax what we burn, not what we earn. This is the single most important policy change we can make.

In order to foster international cooperation, it is also essential that the United States rejoin the global community and lead efforts to secure an international treaty at Copenhagen in December of next year that includes a cap on CO2 emissions and a global partnership that recognizes the necessity of addressing the threats of extreme poverty and disease as part of the world’s agenda for solving the climate crisis.

Of course the greatest obstacle to meeting the challenge of 100 percent renewable electricity in 10 years may be the deep dysfunction of our politics and our self-governing system as it exists today. In recent years, our politics has tended toward incremental proposals made up of small policies designed to avoid offending special interests, alternating with occasional baby steps in the right direction. Our democracy has become sclerotic at a time when these crises require boldness.

It is only a truly dysfunctional system that would buy into the perverse logic that the short-term answer to high gasoline prices is drilling for more oil ten years from now.

Am I the only one who finds it strange that our government so often adopts a so-called solution that has absolutely nothing to do with the problem it is supposed to address? When people rightly complain about higher gasoline prices, we propose to give more money to the oil companies and pretend that they’re going to bring gasoline prices down. It will do nothing of the sort, and everyone knows it. If we keep going back to the same policies that have never ever worked in the past and have served only to produce the highest gasoline prices in history alongside the greatest oil company profits in history, nobody should be surprised if we get the same result over and over again. But the Congress may be poised to move in that direction anyway because some of them are being stampeded by lobbyists for special interests that know how to make the system work for them instead of the American people.

If you want to know the truth about gasoline prices, here it is: the exploding demand for oil, especially in places like China, is overwhelming the rate of new discoveries by so much that oil prices are almost certain to continue upward over time no matter what the oil companies promise. And politicians cannot bring gasoline prices down in the short term.

However, there actually is one extremely effective way to bring the costs of driving a car way down within a few short years. The way to bring gas prices down is to end our dependence on oil and use the renewable sources that can give us the equivalent of $1 per gallon gasoline.

Many Americans have begun to wonder whether or not we’ve simply lost our appetite for bold policy solutions. And folks who claim to know how our system works these days have told us we might as well forget about our political system doing anything bold, especially if it is contrary to the wishes of special interests. And I’ve got to admit, that sure seems to be the way things have been going. But I’ve begun to hear different voices in this country from people who are not only tired of baby steps and special interest politics, but are hungry for a new, different and bold approach.

We are on the eve of a presidential election. We are in the midst of an international climate treaty process that will conclude its work before the end of the first year of the new president's term. It is a great error to say that the United States must wait for others to join us in this matter. In fact, we must move first, because that is the key to getting others to follow; and because moving first is in our own national interest.

So I ask you to join with me to call on every candidate, at every level, to accept this challenge – for America to be running on 100 percent zero-carbon electricity in 10 years. It's time for us to move beyond empty rhetoric. We need to act now.

This is a generational moment. A moment when we decide our own path and our collective fate. I'm asking you – each of you – to join me and very good site cialis from india build this future. Please join the WE campaign at We need you. And we need you now. We're committed to changing not just light bulbs, but laws. And laws will only change with leadership.

On July 16, 1969, the United States of America was finally ready to meet President Kennedy’s challenge of landing Americans on the moon. I will never forget standing beside my father a few miles from the launch site, waiting for the giant Saturn 5 rocket to lift Apollo 11 into the sky. I was a young man, 21 years old, who had graduated from college a month before and was enlisting in the United States Army three weeks later.

I will never forget the inspiration of those minutes. The power and the vibration of the giant rocket’s engines shook my entire body. As I watched the rocket rise, slowly at first and then with great speed, the sound was deafening. We craned our necks to follow its path until we were looking straight up into the air. And then four days later, I watched along with hundreds of millions of others around the world as Neil Armstrong took one small step to the surface of the moon and changed the history of the human race.

We must now lift our nation to reach another goal that will change history. Our entire civilization depends upon us now embarking on a new journey of exploration and discovery. Our success depends on our willingness as a people to undertake this journey and to complete it within 10 years. Once again, we have an opportunity to take a giant leap for humankind.


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Comments (49)Add Comment
written by Tracy, July 17, 2008
The timing of this is perfect - with all the talk of off-shore drilling and finding more oil sources, it is good to have Gore say something and have the mainstream press cover it. I hope it gets lots and order discount tramadol lots of attention. I know it is ambitious (aka crazy), but maybe if we shoot for this, we will be in a better place in 10 years.
written by MarkR, July 17, 2008
As much as I dislike Al "I inventor of the internet/" Gore undeserving Nobel Hypocrite winner . I think we could be carbon neutral in 10 years. However it would require a moon shot effort from the government and honestly I don't think anyone in Washington has the Cajones to pull it off, least of which would be Obama and the demoncrats.
written by Corban, July 17, 2008
Carbon neutral is not the same as carbon free. For example, take algae oil. Equation: CO2 Sunlight Algae = 2 Algae. Repeat until tank is full. While this is carbon neutral (carbon in = carbon out), it is not carbon free. I don't think carbon deserves to be demonized as it has been.
written by Ben, July 17, 2008
It may be that he realizes that aiming for an insane goal is the best way to achieve a simply lofty one. And you may even go further than you realized you could. Let's face it, implementation always ends up a notch or three below rhetoric, especially when government is involved.
written by Danno, July 17, 2008
"seems a little insane" - I think you described him and his ideas rather succinctly. I'm tired of him soap-boxing his pseudo-science in an effort to single-handedly save the planet.
Not to mention cars
written by Joshspark, July 17, 2008
The average car has a lifespan of 10 years as well, so cars built now will probably still be on the road. Indeed, SOME people might be filling up at the plug in 2 years, but it's doubtful this will be happening in the median garage within 10 years. Plug in cars are expensive, and even at $8 per gallon it's still cheaper to pay more for gas for the car you already own than to buy a whole new car. Not to mention tossing out most of the cars in the country isn't a very green thing either considering the energy and resources that went into them. A prius needs to drive 125k miles to offset the energy used to make it rather than continue to use a camry, for instance. Better for the environment and the pocketbook to buy the prius when the camry's life comes to a natural end.
Smart pivot by Gore
written by Anthropic, July 17, 2008
It is going to be hard to convince people to jack up the price of gas when A) the price is already painfully high and B) the globe continues to cool from its 1998 peak due to a quiet solar cycle. The sun is far more important to climate than CO2, a fact that will be difficult to deny in the years ahead. Most of the warming seen in the previous century has been erased in the last decade, even as CO2 levels continue to rise.
written by Sam, July 17, 2008
Wouldn't it be impossible to achieve this goal using current technology? Is there enough surface area in the U.S. to place all of the solar cells and wind turbines needed to replace the massive amounts of energy currently being provided by coal/gas plants?
written by Peter Morgan, July 17, 2008
It might help if big Al would first reduce his own carbon footprint before asking the rest of us little people to sacrifice to do the same.
Carbon Diet
written by Patrick, July 17, 2008
@ Corban: You're definitely correct. I'm thinking attempting to go carbon free (as if it were even possible) would probably be as disastrous and buy cialis in us effective as a fat-free diet.

Carbon, in moderation, is necessary unless you want the global economy to collapse.

And as for getting rid of coal/nuclear any time soon... good luck getting the utilities to default on the billion dollar loans they're using to build their nukes, lol.
Important speech on
written by Ben Carmichael, July 17, 2008
I think this was an historic speech. The point not only about energy, and climate, but to connect these issues to mainstream social issues - a connection many Americans have yet to make.
written by Pidge, July 17, 2008
Interesting stuff. Considering that tax is, as you say, likely to become a political football and it hurts the poor disproportionately, some sort of Cap & Share strikes me as the most effective, sustainable and fair way to do it.
Gore's got it exactly right
written by Philip Sutton, July 17, 2008
Gore has his challenge to America exactly right.

He understands we need zero emissions now. Those coal fired power stations need to be closed now.

If the Arctic ice goes completely the region heats 5 degrees and that guarantees a 5-7 m sea rise, and it will drive the release of about 500 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere from the melting permafrost - more than al the carbon we've put up there through fossil fuel use and other human activity.

Al Gore is one of the few realists around.

written by Gurndigarn, July 17, 2008
A carbon tax can work, but two things would be needed for it to be effective and able to pass congress. First, there needs to be offsetting decrease in income tax for the lower tax brackets, at the very least (probably increasing EIC as well as dropping a percent or two tax from the first X thousand dollars earned). Second, it should be phased in over a series of years. That way, you don't end up with the sticker shock all at once, which would probably lead to protests, possibly riots, and definitely political pressure to repeal the tax, but would still make people (and utility companies) look to the future cost of things.
written by EV, July 17, 2008
Has Gore announced he will also reduce his own electricity usage? Let me know when the man actually changes his own lifestyle. If he wants everyone to change, he should lead; instead of buying carbon indulgences
written by RM, July 17, 2008
How about an honest question for the rotund man with the $30K electric bill who's advocating more taxes and even higher gas prices -- why haven't you lined the roofs of your mansion and cheep daily cialis pool house with solar panels??

Why aren't you dining by candlelight and riding an electric bicycle to work?

First of all, anyone who advocates "100%" of anything is a fraud.

Second, think about his ridiculous math for one small second: He's going to reduce payroll taxes and make the difference up in CO2 taxes. Ok. What happens when we are 100% renewable in 10 years, according to his plan? Well..........I guess we'll have to raise those payroll taxes again!!! This is the same dopey philosophy used to stop smoking by raising cigarette taxes, AND at the same time relying on the extra revenue from cigarette taxes.

This is the classic liberal philosophy of trying to be even MORE outrageous than the other guy to get noticed. Since T. Boone Pickens (a Republican) believes (and is backing it up with money) that we can generate 20% of energy from wind power in 10 years, Algore must exceed that outrageously to regain attention.

There are plenty of ways to achieve energy independence and plenty of alternatives to promote (yes PROMOTE) renewable energy without imposing an unsustainable punishment. Look at Germany's lead in promoting solar power.
Neat concept, way off
written by The Food Monster, July 18, 2008
Great idea, not going to happen. I think as long as we continue to decrease our C02 output each year, that will be a good start.
Good goal, not going to happen
written by The Food Monster, July 18, 2008
It's a good idea, however way too lofty, even for 25 years. I think, reducing the C02 output each year for a couple of years in a row, is a good place to start.
written by Bob Wallace, July 18, 2008
Well, researchers at Purdue University just announced a breakthrough in the manufacture of reasonably priced LED lights for general illumination use.

Widespread adoption should bring about a 10% decrease in electricity usage in the US.

That's one big step toward Al's Most Excellent Goal.

We can do it....
written by remem, July 18, 2008
like article

Go for it Al !!!
written by Lemming, July 18, 2008
Awesome speech.

I think the two biggest hurdles are a stagnant political system & climate skepticism - both heavily fostered by vested interests.

Good luck to anyone who takes this goal on. I would be proud to. Not that our pockets wouldn't benefit as well :)
Gas Turbines
written by stockdam, July 18, 2008
Are gas turbine power stations much better than coal fired ones - I mean for emissions.

Moving to these and using electric vehicles may be one solution?
The Best Racket in the World!
written by Dustin, July 18, 2008
Keep riding the money train all the way to the bank, Gore! Woot!!! You've just guaranteed yourself another 10 years of bookings and overpriced speeches.

The environment will be fine and the government will control our lives and our pocketbooks. Hand over your freedoms to prevent a phantom catastrophe.
Gore is a con artist.
written by ben, July 18, 2008
Man made global warming is NOT scientifically proven. It is created by con artists like Gore who promote this rubbish to fill their own pockets. CO2 is a trace element in our atmosphere, making up less than .38% of it. It is also required for life to exist here. All plants need CO2 to grow. Our food comes from plants, either directly or indirectly. Man made global warming will be proven to be the biggest scam ever. The sun has more to do with our planets climate, but unfortunately, con artists like Gore cannot make money from that.
I agree with the comment above and visit web site cialis without perscription some
written by bob bobberson, July 18, 2008
A) I agree with some of what Gore says in this article except all the hysteria. We're not going to all die as a nation or a planet if we don't implement his ideas/vote him God. We will get by fine if the current God stays in his position. Is his speech useful? and will I tolerate it? Yes.

B) Yes CO2 is very small amount of out atmosphere (but it did increase). And I believe 'Global Warming' is taking away attention from serious issues. Growing up in the 80s and 90s I remember hearing about desertification and deforestation and recycling and now I hardly hear any of those things without getting "global warming" thrown in. Even nuclear power is getting green now.

C) High gas prices might lead to a big change in the next 10 years. I'm pretty conservative but listening to the pundits on the radio I don't believe the "drill here drill now pay less" because I understand economics/business. Our oil output may be growing linearly, but oil demand may grow geometrically causing higher prices. UN says global population will increase 50% to 9 billion and then level out. Will traditional oil output increase to 50% over the same time frame? Probably not.
Mondays experts
written by Steve Brown, July 18, 2008
Al Gore is a smart guy - I think we must all agree that someone who gets to run for president has to be pretty clever.
So, why does a smart guy like Al give an ALMOST impossible timeframe to make this change? He could have easily chosen 25 years, 50 years and sounded much more reasonable...but he chose not to. Why?
I'll tell you why. Because a fast jolt of action from a leading world power is what is REQUIRED to lead the world into the next phase.
The US is in a unique position to lead the world into a new age but it cant because the US is filled with Mondays Experts like some of you who wrote comments above who wont let it happen.

USA - No world leadership, no inspiration, no balls.

Nice one Al - i'm with you big guy.
written by Noah, July 18, 2008
I agree with Al. Becoming carbon neutral is not as hard as you think. Ive heard some talk about a company that sells partial acres in the Peruvian rainforest and there are a myriad of companies that will offset as much carbon as you create. Yes they take money - actually not that much you can buy the protected rainforest for like 100 bucks - but think about it we will be paying carbon credit surcharges just like we pay gas surcharges to offset the cost of war for our oil.
If it was so easy to be carbon neutral
written by idkillforyou, July 18, 2008
Why is Al Gore himself not? I mean he could just put up windmills and Solar Panels all over his mansion property and levitra free samples become carbon neutral right? He has the money to do it so why is he still wasting electricity and natural gas? Maybe if he got rid of his Private Jet that would help.
Coal Plants will become irrelavant
written by Rob Whitener, July 18, 2008
"he lifespan of a coal-fired power plant is between 30 and 50 years. Power companies build these things with those 30 to 50 years in mind. They aren't going to dismantle them when they're 15 years old."

If we were able to bring enough solar-thermal, wind, and geothermal online to provide 100% of our electricity needs (including increased demand from plug in vehicles) which is possible to do, the government wouldn't have to shut down the coal plants because the market place would. As Al Gore pointed out in his speech, the cost of renewable energy based electricity generation are largely fixed since the supply of the basic input (solar, wind, etc. ) is so large that it is basically free. So once these industries become mature, their marginal costs would begin to move towards zero, as opposed to fossil-fuel based industries whose marginal costs will always be increasing because fossil fuels finite and becoming increasingly scarce.

There is no reason why we shouldn't be aiming for these goals that Al Gore laid out. Like previous poster pointed out, it is time for us Americans to grow some balls and start leading, otherwise China is going to push us out of the way.
kinda insane but neccessary
written by JP, July 18, 2008
yeah gore's plan is little insane but the future of human civilization might be at the stake. I think we should be little fanatic about this issue, considering what's at stake. Besides, how many energy evolutions are we going to experience in our history as a human beings? only handful. the fact that we are in a middle of one of the most important energy evolution in the history of human kind and the fact that I'm going to experience it makes me very excited.
I can't wait until this inevitability prevails.
this will be our generation's legacy.
written by nick, July 18, 2008
It will be easier to be carbon neutral by 2018 than get him to stop using private jets.
Gores 10 year plan
written by dennis hudson, July 18, 2008
The reason for the 10 years as a goal seems to be twofold. 1. An aggressive goal, not quite met means we still solve the issue quickly, and there's no time to spare. 2. In an inconvenient truth Gore's presentation, if accepted, says that we are in for unbelievable catastrphic worldwide problems in the very near future, so if you take that as real, then nothing less than accomplishing all he sets out there is acceptable.
Gas should be $20 a gallon, hell why not
written by Heywood Jabloumee, July 18, 2008
Is it just me, or does this likeness of Gore look alot more like Chris Cooper the actor.

hope it happens
written by named, July 18, 2008
I hope this really happens. I don't leave on America, but I see it as the country that is leading the destruction of our planet, instead of the country that leads the world to be a better place to leave. I see America as the country that has a complete moron as president and who is more interested on doing war and killing anyone who doesn't think like him than in improving Americans lives. Every time i read or hear from Gore I could only imagine what a different world this could be if he only were president instead of the 'idiot in chief' that they have right now. Of course Gore may have his own interests and only here daily levitra compromises, but certanly there's more in his head that going to the other side of the world to kill people so americans can extract oil just to sell it at home at high prices. Maybe not in 10 years, maybe in 15 or 20, but change has to arrive right from the top, involving politicians, enginners, and the people. Hope it happens, Hope it happens for my children, for my wife, for everyone around us and for the rest of the world that is suffering now. I may be dead in 10 or 20 years but I hope my son will see less floods, less tornados, less natural disasters, hope he could breath cleaner air than I do, I could work today to make that happen, hope everyone else want to do the same and joins Gore
written by Mike, July 18, 2008
Great Speech
written by Deathridesahorse, July 18, 2008
Al Gore is a true American leader.

Just try
written by Red Ken, July 18, 2008
I'm a 45 yr old European. For most of my life I have admired the USA. I have appreciated the wealth of positive ideals coming from the people. IMHO You have been a net positive influence on the planet.

After 8 years of the current administration I am getting disillusioned. Recent US policies have evoked more bemusement, anger or laughter than admiration.

To actually attempt this. Whether you succeed or fail. It would go a long way to make America great again.... in my eyes at least.
written by tunhi, July 18, 2008
It's truly wonderful to be directed by such an intelligent and determined leader like Al Gore. Let's all take actions and work towards this goal together.
The Club of Rome
written by English, July 19, 2008
Dreamed up global warming. And at the end of this green road there will be massive genocide. And the useful idiots of the world will call it progress.
A.A.: ambitious and achievable
written by eccemarco, July 20, 2008
I loved Al Gore's speech. I hope we Italians had a big ambitious plan like he has. We definetely don't!

I do agree with the comments above that lifespans of some carbon plants, and cars bought right now, are more than 10years. And yet if you Americans carefully plan a strategy, I think it is an achievable goal.
Think about what has been done in just a couple of years during World War II: a lot of industries in many countries shifted from their core production (e.g. cars) to building cars, tanks, weapons. What is needed is a sense of urgency and a strong political commitment. Why during the war such a huge production shift has been possible? Why it couldn't be possible now?
cheers. Marco, from Italy.
Magic Mushrooms = Carbon Offsets?
written by Christopher Keys, July 20, 2008
Al Gore is incredibly inspiring and buy pfizer levitra online I believe he is on the right path.

I think we will become symbiotic with the Earth by innovating with existing natural systems. I just watched a video at TED about how powerful mushrooms can be as part of the solution to save the world and it really got me psyched!
written by Marta, July 21, 2008
I think it was a great speech! I think it will take a grassroots effort to get politicians and corporations on board. Marco mentioned what happened during WW2 to produce the many products for the war effort. How did that happen? Does Rosie the Riveter ring a bell? Women made many of the products in the factories since our men were across the oceans fighting. Women of this planet need to unite and fight to help our beautiful planet, our original mother. We do not realize how powerful we are as a group politically and socially.
Preserve life going treesinstead
written by Daniel, July 22, 2008
No matter what others do for our planet and global warming, we can start by protecting it ourselfs.
Trees instead, LLC is a company devoted to preserve the environment by planting memory trees and offset carbon footprint.
Why send flowers when you can plan a tree in memory of your loved one?
Preserve life planting a tree instead of giving flowers that create waste soon after it is cut. is to plant trees instead of giving traditional sympathy flowers.
I have a dream.....funding
written by digger dan, July 22, 2008
Great speech, achievable goal, if the banks will end the hiatus on funding alternative energy. I challenge them to unleash the obvious economic boost it will give any country that goes for it. Or, even better, the government should fund it themselves………….
Where was this Gore from 1992-2001?
written by Young Contrarian, July 22, 2008
I also applaud Al Gore's recent speech and purchase viagra in canada his ability to bring attention, domestically and internationally, to the environmental movement. I am curious, however, what the author and others who have left comments praising Gore think of his time as Vice President? The Clinton-Gore Administration did not propose any across the board increase in CAFE standards, breaking a 1992 campaign promise. Fuel efficiency dropped to it lowest since 1980. One in six old-growth trees that existed when they took office were cut and sold for below cost. Gore supported 'clean coal' subsidies, like GWB. The list goes on. Again, I appreciate what he's doing now, but where was he as VP and as a strong environmental candidate in 2000?
Insane Goals?
written by Michael, July 22, 2008
I guess it all depends on how dangerous you think the polar icecap melting is. If you think it is no big deal then Gore's schedule seems insane, but if you think that having the oceans rise a couple of meters is a major problem then it seems like a necessity to change the way we are living.

If we saw a asteroid that was on course to collide with the earth in ten years, there would be little argument about when we should start preparing to deal with it. The problem with our current situation is that it is so hard to see what the point of no return is, so the tendency is to procrastinate, even though every delay is another round of Russian Roulette.
carbon emissions must stop NOW?!
written by Dan, July 23, 2008
Another model presents the disquieting conclusion:
"Stabilizing Climate Requires Near-zero Carbon Emissions"

Yes, it is a model. It is not depressing or fear mongering to understand what direction the climate might be heading. It is also realistic to contemplate that if human emissions play a key role--are we willing to stop all emissions TODAY? No more electricity. No more transportation. No more heat. No more food. No more anything.

The blame game is not a fun one... and leads only to someone saying they are right and someone else is wrong. (often in the absence of clear evidence).

Is it too much to expect that we should always be looking for ways to become more efficient in energy use? That is, less energy to do the same amount of work? Why is energy policy always based on the same example that we use for our economy... that growth will save us? Where is the steady state model? And, the alternative energy market is no different--green represents growth. It is also the color of money.

And, where are the Life Cycle Analysis presentations of the alternative energy sources?
Everything takes energy to make--so what is the energy in--energy produced in life--and energy in recycling/disposal after life. Know how much energy is used to produce polysilicon (solar grade)? Know how much energy is used mine refine and spin copper for wind generators?

And where are the population analysts--human population 6 billion 2008 projected 9 billion 2040. Where is all that energy going to come from to house clothe and feed these people? And how many non-essential energy, food, and resource consuming pets do we collectively own?

Me? and while people fight over the causes, ignoring the central issues-- I am moving off the coast. I am tired of watching people drive their cars to "fun runs" to fight global warming. (Doesn't running increase CO2 output?).

Improving efficiency with LCA in mind, and reducing population growth should be primary concerns for reasons well beyond global warming.
written by ..., July 26, 2008
It is a great error to say that the United States must wait for others to join us in this matter. In fact, we must move first, because that is the key to getting others to follow; and because moving first is in our own national interest.
one question, why do I always get the feeling that the efforts made in europe are denied by america? Of course what Gore suggest here is a new idea, a good idea, maybe a not realisable idea, but at least a beginning. Still it is Europe who made huge steps forward in "green" technologies and cialis strenght mg support programms for other "green" ideas/projects before america officially even considered in goign into that direction or even admitting that it is one of the bigest CO2 producers on the world.
Maybe this is off the topic but I wanted to mention it.
written by Yvelle, September 28, 2008
I think the US should follow the European and Asian green technology wave.

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