Untitled document - Video u201cNew thinking on the climate...

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Video: “ New thinking on the climate crisis” by Al Gore (TED2008) 00:09 I have given the slide show that I gave here two years ago about 2,000 times. I'm giving a short slide show this morning that I'm giving for the very first time, so -- well it's -- I don't want or need to raise the bar, I'm actually trying to lower the bar. Because I've cobbled this together to try to meet the challenge of this session. 00:40 And I was reminded by Karen Armstrong's fantastic presentation that religion really properly understood is not about belief, but about behavior. Perhaps we should say the same thing about optimism. How dare we be optimistic? Optimism is sometimes characterized as a belief, an intellectual posture. As Mahatma Gandhi famously said, "You must become the change you wish to see in the world." And the outcome about which we wish to be optimistic is not going to be created by the belief alone, except to the extent that the belief brings about new behavior. But the word "behavior" is also, I think, sometimes misunderstood in this context. I'm a big advocate of changing the lightbulbs and buying hybrids, and Tipper and I put 33 solar panels on our house, and dug the geothermal wells, and did all of that other stuff. But, as important as it is to change the lightbulbs, it is more important to change the laws. And when we change our behavior in our daily lives, we sometimes leave out the citizenship part and the democracy part. In order to be optimistic about this, we have to become incredibly active as citizens in our democracy. In order to solve the climate crisis, we have to solve the democracy crisis. And we have one. 02:28 I have been trying to tell this story for a long time. I was reminded of that recently, by a woman who walked past the table I was sitting at, just staring at me as she walked past. She was in her 70s, looked like she had a kind face. I thought nothing of it until I saw from the corner of my eye she was walking from the opposite direction, also just staring at me. And so I said, "How do you do?" And she said, "You know, if you dyed your hair black, you would look just like Al Gore." (Laughter) 03:10 Many years ago, when I was a young congressman, I spent an awful lot of time dealing with the challenge of nuclear arms control -- the nuclear arms race. And the military historians taught me, during that quest, that military conflicts are typically put into three categories: local battles, regional or theater wars, and the rare but all-important global, world war -- strategic conflicts. And each level of conflict requires a different allocation of resources, a different approach, a different organizational model. Environmental challenges fall into the same three categories, and most of what we think about are local environmental problems: air pollution, water pollution, hazardous waste dumps. But there are also regional environmental problems, like acid rain from the Midwest to the Northeast, and from Western Europe to the Arctic, and from the Midwest out the Mississippi into the dead zone of the Gulf of Mexico. And there are lots of those. But the climate

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