Former Vice President Al Gore offers words of inspiration and beautiful photographs to inspire people to fight climate change.
In this New York Times bestselling sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, Nobel laureate and former Vice President Al Gore offers a sober, alarming overview of a planet on the brink of environmental destruction. Gore offers an optimistic message that humanity can stave off self-destruction. He rolls out facts and data, and laces his report with personal stories of people and communities damaged by climate addressing and changing their situation. Gore’s informed, persuasive message obviates climate denier myths about global warming and climate change.
While the answer to ‘Will we change’ is almost certainly ‘Yes,’ it is not yet clear that we will change rapidly enough to avoid the catastrophic damage we must avoid.Al Gore
Booklist encapsulated pretty much every review when it wrote, “This clarifying and inspiring call to stand with the facts and support the sustainable revolution belongs in every library.”
Gore raises three critical questions: Do people have to change? Are they capable of changing? Will they change? He believes the answers are all yes. The issue, he warns, is whether people will change in time. Gore worries that many people equate the transition to clean energy with shorter, less-comfortable lives. He cites the destruction caused by energy from non-renewable sources: Unprecedentedly high temperatures, ocean acidification, wildfires, drought and flooding.
There is a nearly unanimous view among all scientists authoring peer-reviewed articles related to the climate crisis that it threatens our future.Al Gore
Gore explains that climate change is the planet’s greatest threat. He advocates massive, urgent action. If past crises and movements predict the future, Gore asserts, not entirely convincingly, that mankind’s transition will accelerate as it has in response to other crises throughout history.
Gore reports that people pump more than 100 million tons of pollutants into Earth’s atmosphere daily. As a direct result, Earth is experiencing 150 times more extremely hot days than it did three decades ago. Rising ocean temperatures, Gore explains, means the wind carries ocean vapor inland, which fuels “rain bomb” storms, resulting in so-called “500-year floods” that now occur almost annually.
Investors around the world are ignoring the fossil fuel industry’s arguments and are now shifting resources massively into renewable energy.Al Gore
Gore notes that as floods ravage some lands, and persistent droughts destroy others, pollutants kill 6.5 million people each year and make cities like Beijing “unlivable.” Northern and southern ice melts in mid-winter and at night, releasing methane – a gas more harmful than CO2. He predicts that storms or high tides will cause flooding that, in cities like Miami or New Orleans, will leave fish swimming in the streets.
As Gore lists the horrors of climate change, he underplays their severity, perhaps intentionally. He offers hope, starting with a strong report on clean energy sources, which are now so affordable and efficient that they cost less than fossil fuel alternatives in many places. People do embrace clean energy, Gore points out, when it’s the cheapest option.
Scientists say that the United States could see a 400% increase in extreme downpours by the end of this century. The same pattern is true globally.Al Gore
His fundamental argument is that renewable energy sources represent the greatest business opportunity in the history of commerce.
Countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2° Celsius. Despite what Gore sees as former President Donald Trump’s attempts to dismantle these gains, communities across America are continuing or increasing their commitment to fighting climate change. The widespread efforts of grassroots organizations, individuals, governments and businesses produce astonishing results.
Gore offers this as proof that people can address climate change but acknowledges that only greater effort from many more people will ensure that change happens in time. This requires winning the minds of people who still doubt the actuality of climate change due, Gore writes, to the deliberate misinformation that fossil fuel interests spread with help from the politicians they pay.
Make a Difference
Gore implores readers to join the fight. He urges you to vote, and rally others to vote. Speak at community forums and town halls. Write editorials for local and national media, including social media. Send short, specific petitions to targeted politicians or business leaders. Stay active on social media. Follow local journalists who cover climate change and post thoughtful comments to their articles. Talk to teachers and children about the Earth and conservation. Tell people that everyone can make a difference.
Wind alone could supply 40 times all of the energy that the entire world needs.Al Gore
Gore believes the most effective course is for committed individuals to seek and win election to public office. Across the United States, he reminds you, more than 90,000 elected offices offer opportunities for you to exert influence. Be a leader. Learn about the science and politics of climate change, stage events and drive awareness campaigns. Conserve energy in your home, plant trees, bike or walk more, switch to solar and use an electric car. Eat less meat and buy local, organic produce.
Gore relates the challenges of the climate change debate at a high political level, while largely resisting an overtly political message. He describes effective solutions, but strikes a somewhat optimistic a tone, even given the gravity of present circumstances. He stays on topic and true to his personality, maintaining his dry, clinical approach. Gore’s message is inspirational, but his writing can be pedestrian.
Gore offers fair criticism of politicians who refuse to acknowledge or address climate change. Readers who already engage in or understand the issues Gore raises might not gain a great deal of new information, but the book’s stunning pictures complement his engaging overview of the problem and its potential solutions. Gore’s commitment to this cause offers tremendous inspiration and value.
Al Gore’s books include The Assault on Reason: Our Information Ecosystem, from the Age of Print to the Age of Trump; Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit; Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis; and The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Other significant works addressing climate change include How To Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need by Bill Gates; The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert; and No One Is Too Small To Make a Difference by Greta Thunberg.