Al Gore visits YouTube Space LA to praise the emerging transformative power of technology
By Shanee Edwards
There was no politicking as Al Gore and the directors of “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” spoke before a live audience at YouTube Space LA in Playa Vista on July 28, the day of the film’s release.
Instead, the former vice president turned climate change crusader spoke calmly and firmly about truth and hope.
It’s been 11 years since “An Inconvenient Truth” set off alarm bells around the world with its call for immediate action to put the brakes on global warming. Since then, “climate-related extreme weather events are a lot more numerous and more destructive,” said Gore — but there’s also good news.
“We have the solutions now. Solar and wind electricity have come down incredibly fast in price. Electric cars are becoming more available — the new consumer version of Tesla is about to come out, and all the major [car] manufacturers are about to introduce them. Batteries are coming down [in price], so we have the ability to solve this now,” Gore said. “I think it’s important to convey that message. It’s one of the reasons why people come away from watching Bonni [Cohen] and Jon [Shenk]’s film feeling hopeful but also feeling a great sense of urgency.”
Billed as a “fireside chat,” the panel also included Joe Hanson, founder of the science-focused YouTube channel “It’s Okay to Be Smart,” and was moderated by Kate Brandt, head of Google’s global sustainability program.
Gore remains surprisingly optimistic. “I have come to the conclusion, and others have as well, that we are in the early stages of a global sustainability revolution. This has the magnitude of the industrial revolution, but the speed of the digital revolution,” he said. “And, instead of starting in a little corner of England in a world with 1.5 billion people and slowly spreading outward, this Sustainability Revolution is being jumpstarted in rich and poor countries alike in every part of the world.”
He also says we should look at how some third world countries are preparing for the future. “In India, they’ve done a U-turn since the Paris Agreement. … They’re expanding solar, closing lots of coal plants, and they just announced that in only 13 years 100% of cars and trucks sold in India are going to have to be electric vehicles.
“We ought to make a commitment like that here.”