WASHINGTON – Comparing “global warming” to World War II, former Vice President Al Gore said America should “mobilize” to combat climate change and put a “price on carbon pollution.”
“Even though we give FDR and the New Deal the credit for ending the Great Depression, what really ended it was World War II when we mobilized for a great national effort in which the survival of our country and our values was deemed to be at stake and when we decided to act, then we put people to work and the economy started booming like never before,” said Gore on Tuesday at Rhode Island Energy and Environmental Leaders Day sponsored by Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse.
“Well, this time the threat is different and it doesn’t trigger the ancient reflexes we inherited from our ancestors when they were attacked by other humans with weapons, but it is nonetheless a threat to our survival. This stuff is no joke. We’re now, we’re seeing the acceleration of this.”
Gore, who won an Academy Award for his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, said he is training 800 representatives from 91 countries in Turkey this weekend on a “new version” of his global warming slideshow presentation. After the training, Gore said, they would give the presentation in their home countries.
“Even though on a population basis the cities that are most affected by sea level rise are in India and China and so forth, Bangladesh – if you look at the value of assets at risk in coastal cities, number one is Miami, number two is New York, New Jersey and we are paying the cost of carbon pollution. It is well past time that we put a price on carbon pollution and not just accept the price that it extracts from us,” Gore said.
The former Tennessee senator said retrofitting U.S. buildings and infrastructure would create more jobs and lower “global warming pollution.”
“It’s a huge fork in the road, huge choice that we have to make and if we mobilize the way we should, if we put a price on carbon and get the signals correct in the economy, then we’re going to put many millions of people to work installing the solar, installing the wind, reconfiguring buildings with more insulation,” Gore said.
“We can save 90 percent of the energy saved being used in most buildings – 25 to 30 percent of all the global warming pollution in the world comes from poorly insulated, poorly constructed buildings. The retrofitting of our buildings and our infrastructure, that’s the way to create jobs and the installation of the renewable energy systems.”