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WaPo--Al Gore explains why he's optimistic

So true:

To the broader part of your question, innovation is already playing a major role in bringing about new potential solutions to the climate crisis. The tech world had a bitter experience after the burst of enthusiasm in 2005 and 2006 because of a perfect storm made up of four elements: First, the great recession, which had a huge, destructive impact on business generally. Number two, the Chinese juggernaut, which subsidized the production of several prominent renewable energy technologies to the point where their sales price fell below the price of production in the West. Third, the shale gas boom dropped the retail price of electricity to levels below what many renewable energy plans needed to be viable. And fourth there was the policy failure I mentioned earlier in the U.S. Senate and Copenhagen. And all the while there was this massively funded climate denier campaign by the Koch Brothers and Exxon-Mobile and others that hired tobacco industry veterans to work with them on consumer advertising and lobbying activities.

But that setback was only temporary because reality has a way of reasserting itself. There has been a 100-fold increase in the number of extreme, high-temperature events around the world in the distribution curve. And people have noticed for themselves — the rain storms are bigger, the droughts are deeper and the fires are more destructive. All of these things have not escaped notice and people are connecting the dots. The cumulative amount of energy trapped by manmade global warming pollution each day in the earth’s atmosphere is now equal to the energy that would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima bombs going off every 24 hours. It’s a big planet, but that’s a lot of energy.

The consequences are now hard to escape. Every night on the news, it’s like a nature hike through the book of revelations. Eleven states today are fighting 35 major fires! People are noticing this. And simultaneously they’re noticing the sharp drop in the cost of carbon-free, greenhouse gas-free energy, and the combination is pushing us over this political tipping point and the trend is unstoppable.

It's getting really scary out there, with the freak weather and Exxon and Koch-fueled Republican intransigence, but lately I've been cheered up by the recent optimism from Bill McKibben, Paul Gilding, and now Al Gore.  The full interview with Gore is definitely worth a read, particularly if you are a treehugger feeling down in the trenches (feeling like a roothugger, I guess).  5000+ comments already on the article over there, undoubtedly from paid fossil fuels Internet minions--they see this as a threat.

I have to say, it's feeling a lot like this:

Sauron and the Ring are still around, there is still a lot more fighting to do and dangerous roads ahead of us, but the wind has changed.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just going by the book (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cordgrass, enhydra lutris

    You can see it in the movies and the paper and the TV news
    Somebody's army is always on the move
    There's gonna be a battle the lines have been drawn
    They've got guns and tanks and planes

    The wells are gone dry and the water is bad and the air is acid rain

    There's war after war and rumors of war from the East
    There's a rumblin' in the ground and they're talkin' about the beast

    Good mothers cry cause the rivers run high
    With the blood of too many sons
    Some people say peace is on the way
    But the worst is still to come

    Cause the prophets wrote about it
    And Jesus spoke about it
    And John got to take a look
    And he told us what he saw when it's easy to see
    It's goin' by the book
    It's goin' by the book

    There's armies in the cities and the missiles stand ready for flight
    A pale horse rides like the wind across the night
    And that rumblin' in the desert like thunder gettin' closer
    And the trumpet's gettin' ready to blow
    There's gonna be a shout that will wake the dead
    We better be ready to go

    Cause the prophets wrote about it
    And Jesus spoke about it
    And John got to take a look
    And he told us what he saw when it's easy to see
    It's goin' by the book
    It's goin' by the book

    It's goin' by the book
    Goin' by the book

    Help me to be the best Wavy Gravy I can muster

    by BOHICA on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 07:02:03 AM PDT

  •  Yes, we are starting to get to Grid Parity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in many places, soon to be almost everywhere. Then it will be impossible to get funding to construct coal-fired power plants, and we will build out renewables for all new construction. In the following decade, coal-fired plants will become increasingly uneconomic to run, and we will start to shut them down. A rough calculation suggests that we can get to renewables for almost all of our electricity by 2030.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Fri Aug 23, 2013 at 04:34:35 PM PDT

    •  I just hope that's soon enough. (0+ / 0-)
      A rough calculation suggests that we can get to renewables for almost all of our electricity by 2030.

      "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

      by Calamity Jean on Tue Aug 27, 2013 at 02:00:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for bringing this interview, and the (0+ / 0-)

    priceless quote you used as your title, to our attention. I really do hope he's right in being optimistic...

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