I was lucky enough to be able to see Al Gore speak at a Barbara Boxer fundraiser in San Francisco a few hours ago. He spoke extemporaneously, without notes, teleprompter, or an earphone (unlike you know who). He spoke with intelligence and he spoke with passion.

The quote in the title above did not come from him or from Boxer. It came from the crowd. When he finished his speech, and after the applause went on for a minute or two, a chant arose from the audience: Run Al, Run! It went on for minutes, with Gore looking away and motioning for the audience to stop - a request that was honored entirely in the breach :-)

After this, Boxer said a most interesting thing...

Before Gore spoke, Boxer thanked everyone for coming and supporting her all these years. She is an energetic speaker and a thoroughly beautiful woman - and she was wearing a bright orange suit (maybe she "gets" the blog thing :-)

She was followed by Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, singing about real patriotism in support of real freedom. I got a seat third row center. Maybe there is a god after all.

Then Gore spoke. Not just about global warming, but about what to do about it. He said that global warming is not a political question, it is a moral imperative masquerading as a political question. He talked about the "greatest generation", that won WWII, more importantly, decided to do something about it - the Marshall Plan. He said that this was not charity, but in our direct best interests - it was much less expensive to bring Europe together than to fight world wars every few decades.

He spoke about genocide in Africa. About the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and about pandemics yet to come. He said we need a change in consciousness, a change that would make the genocide in Africa come to seem, years from now, as a possibility as ridiculous as genocide in, say, Iowa. A change that would make the US invading another country as unbelievable as Germany invading France today.

After the speech, the applause, and the calls to "Run Al, Run", Boxer thanked him for all that he is doing to raise consciousness about global warming. She then added "Please keep doing it, in addition to anything else that you might be doing". The crowd erupted. Gore smiled shyly.

Will Al run? Oh yeah. The best guerrilla marketing since the Blair Witch project, but this time the story is true :-)

Update [2007-10-11 23:22:1 by MarkInSanFran]: Barabra and Al (click it for full-sized image):

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Update [2007-10-12 5:3:19 by MarkInSanFran]: Congratulations to the new Nobel Laureate (shared with the IPCC)! The citation:

for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change

How's that for a big FU to the Bush gang?

Originally posted to MarkInSanFran on Thu Oct 11, 2007 at 07:33 PM PDT.

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