When I caught up with Al Gore at his home in Nashville last December, the
former Vice President turned green guru was in a pensive mood. I was surprised —
he was just finishing his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, which he was due
to give in Stockholm a few days later. For a man who had lost the Presidency in
the most agonizing way possible, winning the Nobel should have offered some
consolation. But when I asked Gore if he felt vindicated, he shook his head.
"It's hard to celebrate recognition of an effort that has thus far failed," he
said. He was referring to his work not only to awaken the world to the danger of
climate change, but to get us to really do something about it. "I'm not
finished, but thus far, I have failed. We have all failed."
Gore was right. For all the hot air expended talking about climate change,
global greenhouse gas emissions continue, at a rate of about 70 million tons a
day. The gap between ...