UPDATE: Jill Stein has posted a reply on jill2016.com to Al Gore's remarks.
Former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., is quite correct about one thing: Florida's votes really, really, really count. But his campaigning with Hillary Clinton has gravely disappointed my ladyfriend, who got to meet her longtime crush during Climate Reality Training this past August.
At a campaign appearance with Hillary Clinton at Miami Dade College, the Sun-Sentinel notes, Gore recalled how much Floridians' votes counted in 2000, and the crowd responded with an enthusiastic chant of "You won! You won!" Considering the evidence that, if the recount had been allowed to proceed, he would have won Florida, the crowd was also correct about that. The Supreme Court and the Brooks Brothers Brownshirts stole the election from Gore and his running mate Joseph Lieberman.
Perhaps if Gore had won the presidential race in 2000, we humans would be well on our way to achieving international goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the levels necessary to prevent the dreaded two-degree rise in global temperatures. Perhaps the United States would not have invaded Afghanistan and, subsequently, Iraq, because perhaps there would not have been a 9/11. Perhaps.
It's understandable that Gore supports the candidacy of his friend Hillary Clinton, with whom he worked and traveled and energized a Reagan-Bush-weary nation in 1992, only to see Bill Clinton triangulate his way into an alliance with Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congressional Class of '94.
But it's completely bizarre that he would campaign for Secretary Clinton in his capacity as the founder of the Climate Reality Project, stating, "When it comes to the most urgent issue in the world, the choice is extremely clear: Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority."
Perhaps Clinton will do just that. Perhaps, as president, she will convince fellow fracking advocates Tim Kaine and Ken Salazar of the urgency of climate action, including leaving our remaining fossil fuels in the ground. But, after hearing her talk of "revitaliz[ing] coal country" in Sunday night's "debate," I have my doubts. She was not talking about a revitalization that involves converting coal country into sun & wind country.
CLINTON: So I have a comprehensive energy policy, but it really does include fighting climate change, because I think that is a serious problem. And I support moving toward more clean, renewable energy as quickly as we can, because I think we can be the 21st century clean energy superpower and create millions of new jobs and businesses.
Indubitably, Clinton was pressed for time and could not give specifics on what form this revitalization would take. I'm excited that she is even talking about making the US the "clean energy superpower," mostly because I have used the same phrase and envisioned out loud Houston becoming the renewable energy capital of the world. But my suspicion is that it's just more talk from Clinton, like Bill's campaign promise to Jews in Brooklyn that he would "keep a glatt kosher kitchen in the White House."
Clinton's use of "comprehensive" implies that she will continue with President Obama's "all of the above" energy strategy. Sorry, but the world can't take that, as Gore should bloody well know.
Jill Stein also understands that we cannot leave fossil fuel workers high & dry, and she proposes a Just Transition—which, admittedly, she leaves somewhat vague in her Platform:
The fact is, Stein is making confronting the climate crisis the centerpiece of her campaign, as she did in 2012. For Clinton, it's a side issue, and it took a Category Four hurricane hitting the east coast for her to bring it up in such dire terms.
If Gore truly believes that the Democrats are serious about tackling anthropogenic climate disruption, Captain Picard and I agree: "Obama...in '09...at Copenhagen."
In December of his rookie year as president, Obama had already collected a Nobel Peace Prize. Whether he deserved it or not, it should have provided all the prestige he needed to push the Copenhagen Climate Summitteers to get on the stick and produce a worldwide, binding agreement on CO2 emissions. A lot of us eco-freaks were bitterly disappointed at the outcome. Obama didn't even appear in Copenhagen until the talks were almost over, and even the World Wildlife Fund criticized his tepid speech.
You could give Hillary Clinton all the Nobel Prizes, send her to the next big climate talks, and she would still produce a compromised agreement that lets the fossil fuel giants keep doing what fossil fuel giants do.
Although I am 100% for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, I am prepared for Clinton and Kaine to be our next executive duo. Despite my skepticism, I am more than eager for them to prove me wrong.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.