Al Gore: America’s Unofficial Climate Czar
Former vice president turned unofficial environmental czar Al Gore pitched climate control to a packed house at Dreamforce 2014 with some 150,000 registrants and 5 million online via Salesforce Live. But what caught my eye most wasn’t what Gore said (as we’ve all heard these alarming stats before), it was the barrage of disparaging comments I received online after posting highlights from his speech (read on for those).
Wows Some, Nauseates Others
Nearly all the replies on Twitter were aimed at giving Gore a new bunghole. Really. Plenty pockmark Gore carte blanche and rubberstamp him as a political-has-been, fraud and profiteer. Here are screen captures of these digs (I omitted any with four-letter unmentionables:
Just the mere mention of Gore’s name either wows those who hang on his every word as gospel or nauseates others who would rather eat a dirt sandwich then sit through his lecture. There seems to be no middle ground either. Some attendees were psychologically pumped by his seemingly vast knowledge of our eroding ozone layer noticeable by their cheers, applause and standing ovation.
One slide Gore presented, interestingly enough, was dated two days before his keynote on October 13, 2014, from the U.S. Department of Defense 2014 Climate Change Roadmap:
“Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty and conflict.”
Another slide featured insight from Jason Box, a Lead Researcher with the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. Yet another covered the 10 cities at risk from sea level rise in 2070 (which most of us won’t be around to dispute): Calcutta, Mumbai, Dhaka, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai, Rangoon, Miami, and Haiphong.
Another shared this less-known insight:
“In 2014 the ice sheet is precisely 5.6 percent darker, producing additional absorption of energy equivalent to roughly twice the US annual electricity consumption.”
Gore spent a good 20 minutes on the nuances of every monster storm of the last decade. One of the proof points environmentalists offer while making their case is the increased frequency of colossal storms and single out global warming as the culprit.
Oops. He Did It Again.
Gore ramped up the wattage of his speech by bringing legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young on stage. Young was already at Dreamforce stumping his new digital-download music service and dedicated high-quality music player, Pono (I tried it out and easily give it two thumbs up).
Yet Gore couldn’t quite get to his end game on the evil-ways-we’re-polluting-our-planet-diatribe on fact-based evidence alone. He relied on mammoth monitors displaying a serene image of Earth from space and a few dry jokes. One poked fun at former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in reference to dissing anyone who talks about space colonies. His next zinger fell sideways yet was as expected as Hillary’s pantsuit jests: his “election win” that lost.
How Did Gore Fare?
I give Gore’s a C- on his controversial climate research, a D on his lengthy delivery and need to add A-list glitter with a legendary musician yet still have one overriding question: “Shouldn’t you let that loss go already?” That was 14 years, one separation, one girlfriend, two presidents and four terms ago.