Al Gore threw down the gauntlet yesterday, challenging the U.S. to go completely carbon-free in its energy sources within ten years. We have the technology to do it, he claimed, speaking in DC to an enthusiastic crowd. The 50-year goals politicians have been setting, eg, at the recent G8 meetings, just don’t cut it: they’re not real. The politicians setting them won’t be held accountable, 50 years from now. Gore argued that, if President Kennedy’s initiative could put Americans on the moon within a ten-year period, we can go carbon-free within the same time frame.
Imagine if our next president accepts the challenge. Certainly it’s not possible under the current administration, which renewed its push for offshore drilling. But might the new president actually be willing to act like a visionary and take the bold measures needed to change the U.S. economy so completely?
Here he briefly addresses his talking points (note the use of "sea change"!). The complete speech and text are available here. Andrew Revkin has annotated the speech on Dot Earth, his excellent environmental blog for the NY Times.