Half way through Al Gore’s lecture, we thought that he had lied to us.
You see, when he began his presentation at the United Nations Conference yesterday, he promised that his presentation was going to be optimistic.
After approximately an hour we were overwhelmed with empathy and exacerbation for the devastating realities that the world is facing because of climate change TODAY.
Live footage from extreme weather events in the Philippines, Brazil, Nepal, China, Afghanistan, United States (YES US TOO), and many more shed light on how these extreme weather events such as floods, hurricanes, forest fires, and mudslides are not isolated incidents. These events are happening across the globe, affecting people in developing and developed countries alike.
People are losing their livelihoods, their homes, and their lives because of these super storm weather events linked inextricably to human induced climate change.
During his presentation, we witnessed video after video of people struggling to survive these severe weather events from across the globe.
Below is one impactful short video of a flooding victim rescue.
Below is another.
2014 is on track to be the hottest year on record. Al Gore poignantly stated that we are caught between danger and opportunity in this crisis.
Countries around the globe that are witnessing and recognizing the impacts of climate change, for example the melting of the ice caps, are taking desperate action.
The Peruvian government is painting their mountains white to try to save the melting glaciers. Their desperate hope is that the white paint will reflect the sun’s rays in order to decrease the acceleration of their main source of drinking water.
The government of the island nation of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean has BOUGHT LAND on Fiji as an insurance plan to house climate refugees once sea level begins to rise.
On this emotional rollercoaster ride, we did not know how Al Gore was going to end his lecture. How can we enact change? Where is the hope? Why is it so hard for us to change the path we are on?
Legacy industries that build up great wealth as well as political power and networks of connection, exercise more control over political decision making than is beneficial for the public interest at large. Aka he is talking about the fossil fuel industry.
His hope lies in his belief that climate change is not a burden, but an opportunity for sustainable economic growth. He believes we must put a price on carbon because then the market will then become our ally.
The importance of activism was specifically highlighted, as Al Gore personally invited the audience to join in the fight against climate change. We have a great choice at this point; we can either continue on the destructive path toward irreversible climate change, or we can join hands across the world and form the greatest alliance in history. In order to achieve this goal, we need to create a social movement to instigate political change.
All the world leaders are doing a lot of talking, but there has been little action. If you are from the United States, make sure you raise your voice. These international talks are nothing without your support.
Stay tuned for our next blog focusing on John Kerry’s press briefing, which declared the United States’ official stance on climate action.
This picture below was taken by a satellite and that pale blue dot is our Earth in space. We must remember that it can not be replaced.