Al Gore Talks Climate Change and Politics
Former Vice President Al Gore, seen on the big screen, spoke at the LIA luncheon on March 8.
Taking action against climate change was just one topic former Vice President Al Gore discussed at the Long Island Association Annual Luncheon on March 8. The political, business, and environmental visionary also shared his decision to enlist in Vietnam war, the best lesson he’s ever learned, and economic inequality in America during a sit-down with Kevin Law, LIA president and chief executive.
EmPower Solar, one of many sponsors at the event, gladly attended and here are some memorable Gore quotes and comments from the event:
The vice president’s role is “totally dependent” on the person’s direct relationship with the president.
On his relationship with President Bill Clinton: “It’s cliché to say we were like brothers . . . but we were.”
Number one learning experience from a business standpoint: pick the right partners.
On Vietnam: “There were plenty of ways to get out of the draft,” he said. Many other Harvard students didn’t want to participate in the war, but he felt called to serve his country rather than just sit by and watch others risk their lives for his freedom.
He believes the democratic system is “magic” when it’s working the way it was intended.
“There is virtually no reform of any kind that can pass the House today,” he said, because of the power of money and votes.
“I’m a recovering politician. I’m on step nine,” he said on not running for president in 2016.
Thomas Payne was the J.K. Rowling of the 1800s.
Information consumption has changed dramatically since the 1800s. Now, the average person is rarely heard, he said. The Thomas Payne era has ended.
“The problem today is that facts have become battlegrounds,” he said. The general population is only hearing people with large microphones who are ignoring facts.
He believes the digital revolution is still in its early stage.
He hopes that regardless of party affiliation that people will be moved by what they hear enough to act.
He said several times that the LIA should be speaking up about global warming legislation and support putting a price on carbon.
“We’re having once in a thousand year [destructive environmental] events every year,” he said, referring to homes flooding in Nashville, where he lives, as well as Superstorm Sandy.
He said that people criticized him when the World Trade Center memorial was flooded in an “An Inconvenient Truth,” released in 2006, but his prediction came true sooner than suspected during Superstorm Sandy.
“Pollution is free. Pollution is invisible . . . just use the skies as a sewer.” Gore said this adding that’s how many still think.
His focus today is educating and fighting climate change. The goal is to “win the conversation” on climate change, he said.
Al Gore is the author of several bestselling books, the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary, and the co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is currently on the Board of Directors of Apple, Chairman of the Climate Reality Projects, Chairman of Generation Investment Management, and Senior Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He was previously elected to the U.S. House of Representatives four times and the U.S. Senate twice. Gore then served eight years as the 45th Vice President of the United States. He was a central member of President Bill Clinton’s economic team and the leader of a wide range of administrative initiatives.