Former VP Al Gore: ‘If We Got to True Net-Zero, the Temperatures on Earth Would Stop Going Up’

( – Former Vice President Al Gore said Sunday that the United States has the ability to stop temperatures from going up, by getting to “true net-zero,” which would stop it within “three to five years, almost as if we’ve flipped a switch.”

“Well, I wish the scientists had been wrong in their predictions going back decades now, Chuck. All I have done is really convey the scientific facts as the scientists have patiently explained them to me, but the fact that they were dead right, if a little conservative, actually, in some of the impacts that are occurring more harshly and more frequently than they predicted, but they were pretty much spot on,” Gore told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“And because they were, we should listen more carefully to what they’re telling us would happen if we don’t quickly reduce the global warming pollution emissions that are causing this global emergency. It’s due to get much, much worse, and quickly, but we have the ability to stop temperatures from going up,” the former vice president said.

“If we got to true net-zero, the temperatures on Earth would stop going up with a lag time of as little as three to five years, almost as if we’ve flipped a switch, and if we stayed at true net-zero, then half of the human cause to CO2 emissions would fall out of the atmosphere in as little as 25 to 30 years, and we have the solutions available,” he said.

Gore said that public sentiment is changing, that “our democracy is broken,” and “in order to solve the climate crisis, we’re going to have to pay attention to the democracy crisis.”


“The same reason that it’s seemingly impossible for the Congress to pass legislation banning these weapons of war, these assault rifles that are being used to murder children in classrooms and create hundreds of mass-casualty events already this year, and that’s getting worse; the same reason we can’t pass legislation to, for example, reinstate the ban on assault weapons; is the same reason that we can’t pass climate legislation,” he said.

“We have a minority government. We have the filibuster, still, which ought to be eliminated. We have big money playing much too large a role in our politics, lobbyists for the fossil-fuel industry, aAnd they’re still running all of these advertisements, trying to convince people that it’s not that bad, or they’ve, ‘Got this. Don’t worry about it.’ We have got to rise to this challenge, Chuck,” Gore said.

“You know, what you see behind me is a picture from the space station showing how thin the atmosphere is. If you could drive to the top of that blue line, drive straight up in the air at interstate highway speeds, you’d get to the top of that line in about five minutes, and below you would be all of the greenhouse gas pollution,” he said.

“We’re using that as an open sewer, dumping 162 million tons into it every day, and the accumulated amount now traps as much heat as would be released by 600,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding on the Earth every day, and we have the solutions,” the former vice president said.

“Renewable energy from wind and solar is now cheaper in almost the entire world than electricity from fossil fuels. Those utilities here in the U.S. that have doubled down on gas are seeing their rates go up while those who are picking solar and wind, their rates are going down,” Gore said.

When asked what President Biden should do besides advocating for more pro-climate senators, Gore said that he welcomed the president’s announcement last week “to jump-start the off-shore wind industry in the U.S.”

The president has taken “quite a number of other important actions” and “reversed some of the terrible policies of his predecessor, but he needs congressional action in order to take the bold steps that are really needed,” the former vice president said.

“There are other things he can do. He ought to replace the head of the World Bank, for goodness sake. His predecessor put a climate denier in charge of the World Bank, And so we’re not seeing the kinds of global policies that we should,” he said.

“The Postal Service is buying all of these new trucks. They all ought to be electric. There are many other things that he can do. He can stop approving any more fossil-fuel development on federal lands and permits for yet more fossil-fuel development,” Gore said.

“The International Energy Agency says that we should not have any new oil and gas fields developed if we want to see the survival of human civilization in anything resembling its current form,” he added.


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