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tv   Netroots Nation Conference Al Gore Remarks  CSPAN  August 14, 2017 11:02am-12:02pm EDT

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action for childhood arrival program, that allows children to stay in the united states. if more reaction today to the violence in charlottesville. jeff sessions said the evil attack in charlottesville needs -- meets the definition of the mystic terrorism. of a car plowed into a crowd of protesters. it does meet the definition of domestic terrorism in our statute, he told good morning america. we may hear more from the president later today. weekendw, more from the net roots conference with former vice president al gore. he talks about the reaction to the protest. he is the chair of the climate reality project.
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this is from over the weekend. shoresame we different that we came on different ships. i started to think about the impact and how sometimes we segregate ourselves.
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we are coming up on the 12th anniversary of the trina. we also have north carolina founded by slaves. we just had a 100 year flood. in south carolina, the same thing. why is this movie so important at this moment in time. al gore: well, i want to join you in thanking and acknowledging all the speakers who came before. dolores and tom starr, who gave such a wonderful address and pamela and others, and i want to entire the netroots nation team for doing a wonderful job, and thanks to all of you. [applause] al gore: so the work that you've done for so many years actually embodies one way to answer the question you've just asked.
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because environmental justice and climate justice is a cause that connects what we're doing to the environment and to the climate, and the prejudice and the insults to people, people in communities of color, people in communities of low income, why? because they have less means to defend themselves when people want to locate a new hazardous waste site of looking at the downwind for some terrible polluting facility.
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this has been going on for a long time. but we're now seeing the growth of this same issue on a truly global basis. today we'll put 110 million tons of manmade global warming pollution in the sky. you talk about violence. violence is not just a metaphor. it is that, too. but this kills people. it hurts people. traps as much extra heat energy every day and would be released by 400,000 hiroshima atomic bombs exploding every 24 hours on this planet. it's a big planet but that's an enormous amount of energy and it's radically transforming the ecological system of the earth. not just raising temperatures, which, by the way, in some regions of the earth, are themselves a dire threat. there was a heat index in a city in iran not long ago, of 165 degrees fahrenheit. 74 celsius.
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no one can live outside for more than five or six hours no matter how healthy. it's also disrupting the water cycle and you're talking about these rain bombs. you know, last week, both miami and new orleans were flooding out and paralyzed, not by the ocean, although the sea level contributed this time, but so much of the ocean's water vapor is being boiled into the sky that when it comes over the land, we get these historic downpours. seven inches in two hours in miami last week -- a week ago tuesday. nine inches in 12 hours in new orleans and in both cities the pumps holding the ocean at bay failed because of the event and both cities were paralyze. there are many such events all over the world on a regular basis. every night on the tv news, it's like a hike through the book of revelation.
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individuals are beginning to connect the dots. we must. here's what's at stake. the large carbon polluters feel that they have a right to use the sky as an open sewer. they want to continue to use the sky as a sewer for as long as they can get away with it. now, and it's an issue of poverty because those with low income, low income nations and low income communities within wealthy nations, cannot defend themselves. not nearly as well and sometimes not at all. so just as environmental justice focuses our attention on the violence that's inflicted on those who are disadvantaged, this large pattern that is now global is inflicting violence
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that is unjust and must be halted. but the carbon polluters are using the same techniques that the tobacco companies used, years ago, you remember when the doctors made it clear that smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. and other diseases. they hired actors and dressed them up as doctors, and put them in front of cameras to falsely reassure people that there was no health problem and a hundred million people died before we finally got over those deceptions. the large carbon polluters are using the exact same playbook. they have hired many of the exact same pr agents and they are trying to fool people to the point where it's incapable of the political system to respond. netroots nation embodies the awakening of a new consciousness
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that has to spread all across the country to demand that we go back to a government of the people and by the people and for the people. [applause] >> so let me ask you a couple of questions. i'll set down my notes and we'll have some real talk. you talked about this new awakening that's happening, and i agree with you on that. we had the women's march, we've had the science march. al gore: yeah. >> and we had the people's climate march. how important are those moments that are a part of a movement in moving us forward to be able to address these issues? al gore: it's crucial. and one of the lessons that netroots nation has taught is that connecting to one another on the internet is extremely important but we have to connect to one another in person as well. [applause] al gore: because that's where
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the real deep ties come that can build a commitment necessary to keep going. and to ultimately prevail. host: so let's take this just a step further. we currently have an administration who does not feel science is valuable. so i saw science all throughout, both of the movies, and can you just speak a little bit about how important that is, and then also how do we begin to translate science into every day language so that mrs. ramirez or mr. johnson, who i often speak about, feel the connection in that space. al gore: well, phrase, speak truth to power, embodies the essential formula that you're getting at here. the truth that the scientists have worked real hard to find out and double-check and triple check and verified with their observations with the truth, is still inconvenient for the carbon polluters and the politicians, that they totally
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control lock, stock and oil barrel, and so they want to hide the truth, distort the truth, confuse and distract people into ignoring the truth, so that what we can see with our own eyes and experience with our own senses, and learn about with you're reasoning capacity, cannot be effectively used as a source of political power. they want money to be the be all and end all of political power. our democracy was hacked by big money before putin hacked our democracy. and we need to take it back. [applause] al gore: and let me say a word about the bernie sanders campaign and i don't want to get into the agenda or the issues, i
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want to make a simple point about what he and those working for him proved last year. we have reached the point now with internet-based and social media based communication and grassroots organizations, to where finally it is now possible to run an effective and potentially victorious campaign without accepting any money from fat cat billionaires or special interests or lobbyists, but just get it from the people, from the internet. [cheers and applause] al gore: let me say up with other thing on this. i went to the congress can, i'm old, i'm old, in my mind, i'm not, in my mind, i'm younger and thinner and i have dark hair, but i went to the congress in
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the mid 1970s and i watched this change, and when television became this off 30 second commercials, all of them negative practically, i watched the behavior of elective representatives of the people change radically. and most of y'all know what goes on now. the average elected representative in the congress, house and senate, you know what they do all day. they spend an average of five hours every single day begging special interests and lobbyists and fat cats for money. now, what does that do? it's a question of human nature. our founders were humanists. they understood human nature with crystal clarity. what that does to them, the people who are supposed to be representing us, and, you know, god bless the ones that are
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steadfast in spite of that but so many of them what that does to them is they begin naturally to think about the impact of what they say and do, not on the people they are supposed to be serving, they begin to think more and more and more about the impact on those telephone calls the next day, begging sperm -- special interests and fat cats and lobbyists, and pretty soon they are letting the fat cats and the lobbyists and the special interests write the legislation. they take it straight from that you are lawyers and lobbyists and say, presiding officer, here's my bill. it's not their bill. the special interest have got a degree of control now that is toxic and it is a disgrace to what american democracy is supposed to be about. and we need to take it back. [applause] host: all right.
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so, as i was walking with around over the last couple of days, some folks came up to me and they said, mustafa, i know you're going to be blessed to be on the stage with the vice president, i've got a couple of questions that i would like for him to answer. so the first one was, and it's a two-fer, if you will, one is around the paris climate agreement and the other is around the green power plant. al gore: okay. host: and our current administration, not seeing value in those spaces. let me say it that way. so can you share with folks, one, what does it mean when we have an administration that moves away from the paris climate agreement, and if the clean power plant is not kept intact, what do we do in those spaces?
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al gore: extremely important question. and i will tell you that when donald trump made his speech on june 1, announcing that he was going to pull the u.s. out of the paris agreement, i was very concerned. for one thing, that some other countries might use that as an excuse to pull out themselves. for another thing, that it might paralyze the will power of states and cities and businesses and civil society here. but i'll tell you that the very next day, and my faith tradition says joy cometh in the morning. the next morning, the news came that the entire rest of the world had redeveloped their commitments to the paris agreement as if say, we'll show you, donald trump. [applause] al gore: they said we're going to meet the paris agreement regardless of what donald trump said.
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in his speech you recall he said i was elected to represent pittsburgh, not paris. the next day of paris said i'm the mayor of pittsburgh and we're still in the paris agreement and we're going to a hundred percent renewable. two more points. it now looks as if the united states of america is very likely to meet the commitment made by former president obama under the paris agreement regardless of what trump does. one other detail, a lot of people don't know this, way the paris agreement was written and this is not entirely a coincidence, the first date upon which it is legally possible for the u.s. to be withdrawn happens to be the day after the next presidential election. applause.
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al gore: and if we have a new president, excuse me a minute, a new president can simply give 30 days notice and we're back in. so it could be just a speed bump. now, you asked about the clean power plant. it's a little more complicated, and i don't want to give anyone the impression that trump is not capable of doing a lot of damage. he is. he's working overtime because he's surrounded himself with his gallery of climate deniers beholden to the large carbon polluters and we all know that and they are secretly working to try to change everything they can and fire the scientists and get rid of any regulations they can. but the good news is, that this train has left the station and what i mean by that is, the cost of electricity from solar and wind is coming down so fast, and now it's got its own momentum, and the more of them they build,
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the more the cost comes down. electric cars are now becoming way more affordable, batteries are coming down. leds, hundreds over efficiency technologies, the world is now in the early stages of a sustainability revolution that has the magnitude of the industrial revolution but the speed of the digital revolution, i truly believe it is -- unstoppable, and this movie tells the story of georgetown, texas, which is described by their mayor as the most conservative republican city and the most conservative republican county in texas and he's a trump supporter, he was, and may still be, i don't know, i didn't get into that with him, but he happens to be a certified public accountant and he knows math really well. and he did the calculation, and decided to completely convert that city to a hundred percent
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solar and wind electricity and now their bill for electricity have come down. the air is cleaner, and it's kind of a side benefit that they are helping to save the future of humanity. [laughter] [applause] host: so we heard the reverend earlier speak a little bit about morality. do you feel that the climate issue is a moral issue as well? al gore: absolutely. at its heart it never should have been a political issue or an ideological issue. it is a moral issue. it is a spiritual issue. of course it is. and on the other side of what's -- of doing what's right is greed. greed and the manipulation of facts, to conceal the truth, in order to distort what our democracy ought to be deciding, in order to serve the cities of these special interests.
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so of course, not long from now, the next generation will ask one of two questions depending on the decisions we make in this time period. if they have tropical diseases spreading northward, in the southern hemisphere southward to where the big populations are. if there is chaos and civil unrest because governments can't govern themselves in these conditions, if there are stronger floods and deeper droughts and more powerful storms and the melting ice and sea level, all of that stuff, what would they think about what we did to leave them with that? that's a moral question and we would see it, if we had a time
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machine and could go into the future and be with them, when they are just asking, what in the world? why? as i said, on the screen, couldn't you hear what know nature was screaming at you, much less what the scientists had found out? but there is another alternative. if they find themselves in a world with a full sense of renewal, with tens of millions of new jobs in sustainability, solar jobs in the united states today are growing 17 times faster than all other jobs in the economy. [applause] i the single fastest growing job is wind turban technician. if we made a decision to put people to work in every community, retro fitting buildings and commercial and industrial that get that 25% that's just due to wasteful construction and assign those
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jobs that can't be outsourced or sent to some other country. we need to get our country growing in a healthy way and provide good jobs and if the next generation lives in a world where that's going on, and the climate is once again healing, and they have hope in their hearts and they can look at their kids and feel genuinely their lives are going to be better, i want them to look back at us, and this time and say, ask a different question. how did you find the moral courage and resolve to stand up and do what many said was impossible? and part of the answer to that question will be that netroots nation helped to lead the way all across the united states and we provided leadership and got it done. host: yes, yes, yes. [applause] host: i want to talk a little bit about the climate movement itself now. and, what you just talked about was so important, so i think it's important that we begin to break down silos that we begin to expand the base if we're going to win on climate.
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so, you know, i come from appalachian. how do we connect with folks in appalachian. maybe people working in the coal mines. breadbasket, how do we connect with them? al gore: by providing jobs. the job loss in the coal industry came mainly because the coastal coal companies mechanized and replaced labor with these machines that slice off tops of mountains and spoil the beautiful landscapes and you've seen it in our native country. we want to get them the better jobs that they deserve with the training and the opportunities.
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look, we have a lot of work to do. and you know very well this becomes kind of a cultural and political drabble type issue, where people use the same phrases and if you don't use that phrase you're in the other camp. the good news is that it's beginning to break down and -- but we've got to be determined about creating these new job opportunities. these coal miners that have lost their jobs, what do you feel about them? i know what most of you do and what we must feel. they and their families and previous generations really did help to build this country.
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they didn't have any intention to create the climate crisis. they are fulfilling good jobs for good wages and it's not their fault they have now been left in the situation that they are in. we all have to work together through the instruments of self-government to create the new opportunity. host: we're going to talk about expanding the base. i want to go back in time a little bit, and i don't know if everyone notes this but how instrumental you were in relationship with other stake holder leaders in creating vancouver order 12898, which is known as the environmental justice executive order and i'm curious if you could share with folks why you invested that capital in that space because it's directly tied to the climate movement right now, and why vulnerable communities needed to be a part of the mix, if you will.
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al gore: i'm proud of the role that i played. and well before that executive order, i sought out congressman john lewis from here in atlanta, one of the great heroes that's ever lived in this country. and john lewis in the house and myself in the senate, we introduced the first environmental justice bill that was ever introduced, and actually, that was in the first half of 1992, i had no thought at all that maybe, you know what happened later that year, me joining the ticket and becoming vice president would happen, but then one year later, when bill clinton and i went into the white house, i convinced him, which was pretty easy to do, to set up his task force, and then that led to that environmental justice executive order and you were already in the epa and you were the one that put it into effect and started doing the work.
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[applause] al gore: mustafa has been at this for a long time but let me make one other point. host: yeah. al gore: the idea for it didn't just spring out of spontaneously. it came from the grassroots. host: that's right. al gore: as far back as 1982, in a rural community, in north carolina, a community of poverty and color woke up to the news that the powers that be had decided to bring truck load after truck load of hazardous chemical waste and dump it right in their community. well, why their community? because they did not have the connections. they didn't have the wealth. they didn't have the political influence. but for the first time in american history, they went out and laid their bodies down on the road to block those trucks, from bringing that waste there.
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[applause] al gore: and that event kind of ignited a new awareness of this environmental justice cause and the knowledge of it spread around the country. i started hearing about it. john lewis started hearing about it. so it really did come from the grassroots. host: and that's a moment in time that sort of translates into where we are now. so when i'm talking about expanding the base in the climate movement we know there is still a lack of diversity in the leadership and in many of our organizations that are focused on that space. al gore: that's right. host: and if we're going to win then that means we have to be inclusive. al gore: absolutely. host: and we have to make sure that innovation is in that space. can you talk about the need in that space and talk about the climate reality project and the trainings that you've been doing and how or addressing that issue.
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al gore: the climate reality project holds regular training programs to -- over a three-day period to give people from the grassroots the skills and training they need to effectively persuade their elected officials, and many of the ones that go through the training go on to do other things, too. starting renewable energy businesses, becoming elected officials, the woman who ran the paris conference was a graduate of this training program back in 2007. and it's to build a group of activists at the grassroots level. i'll tell you a quick story, next training, by the way, is in pittsburgh this fall and if
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anybody wants to consider being a part of that, thank you for saying thank you, all right, get your name on the list. but we had a training in the seattle area, bellevue, washington, just a short time ago and before that in denver. so i want to tell you a quick story. at the denver training, an 11-year-old girl showed up. to be trained. and i said to myself, now, what's our policy here? are we sure that this girl is old enough to do this? it's sort of like somebody running an amusement park with the bar. you've got to be taller than this bar before you go on the ride. but i saw her over three days, making careful notes, and two weeks later, after the training was over, i clicked on a video that was going viral on social media, and here's this same 11-year-old girl who has gone to a town hall meeting of her republican congressman in colorado springs, and she's got her ipad and the microphone and she's just giving him hell.
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but i don't want to skip by your question because it's extremely important. we have to reach out to all communities. i want to tell you about one of our board members when has made a tremendous difference for us. her name is catherine flowers and she's from lowndes county, alabama. [cheers] al gore: you know her? and she's amazing. and my oldest daughter, who you know well, introduced me to katherine. i said, she's got to be african-american, in a very low income rural county, between selma and montgomery, and she was a veteran of the air force. she's a powerful advocate,
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organizer, woman, but i and the others at climate reality have learned so much from her perspective and from her passion and from the experiences that she -- this sounds kind of trite but it's an example really of the tremendous benefit that the environmental movement at large needs to take advantage of by reaching out to communities of color and every single demographic group in this country so the environmental movement looks like america. host: yes, yes, yes. [applause] host: i'm going to take us in a little different direction right now. so, the civil rights movement was a transformational moment and music played a huge role. in that as well. some folks don't pay as much attention to that. so someone asked me the question
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when i was coming down the escalator, when you were growing up, what was the music you listened to? al gore: this was pre-hip-hop era? host: it is. al gore: so you've got to cut me some slack. host: i am. i'll take you there. al gore: it's very easy for me to answer that question. there were a lot of songs, but i remember when i was, boy, i don't know, maybe 12 years old, 13, growing up in the summers in the south, when the civil rights was gaining momentum. i'll tell you that when bob dillon sang "blowing in the wind" and those words pierced right into my heart, everybody is so familiar with them now, but when that first started being played on the radio, i had never heard anything like that, really. and then i started hearing more songs that had that element of
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conscience and truth telling. and it made a tremendous difference. and i remember during those days, i remember a moment when one of my friends this rural community, made a kind of quasi racist comment and one of my other friends said, shut up, we don't talk that way anymore, i'm sure there were millions of conversations that were a little bit like that. so one of the things that's really important is to use your voice, i mean, organizing, using your vote, influencing the political leaders, that's absolutely crucial but using your voice and being unafraid to speak up and win the conversation on climate, i'll give you another example. the gay rights movement. if somebody had told me even five years ago that in the year 2017, gay marriage would be
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legal in all 50 states and that 2/3 of the american people would accept, honor and celebrate gay marriage, i would have said, i sure hope so but you're pretty naive. that's unrealistic. [applause] al gore: why did it happen? it happened first of all because the human rights campaign did a hell of a job, and a lot of grassroots organizers. [applause] al gore: but it also happened because once again, millions of conversations were won. it happened also because as that gained -- as the truth of what was right gained momentum, lots and lots of gay lesbian americans decided and found the courage to represent themselves as to who they really are, and their friends and co-workers and family members said, oh, oh,
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okay, and then it wasn't far from there to the emotion, well, if got made people this way and that way, god could not have intended this person or that person to be persecuted for his or her whole lifetime. what the hell difference does it make who you fall in love with? let's just get on with this, we're all americans. [applause] the climate movement is right at that point. we're right at that tipping point. i don't want to repeat myself, but the gay rights movement, civil rights, all these other movements, what they have in common, is that it can seem, as if the resistance can't be overcome. nelson mandela, late mandela said during the apartheid movement said it's all impossible until it's done.
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it seems impossible to some people now. it's not. we just need to get it done. we're very, very close. host: so you're saying people have power? al gore: people have power, and the truth is a source of power. host: yes. al gore: not to get into the teachings of gandhi, but we had a word i won't try to pronounce that they say translates into truth for us. and we've all seen in our own lives how we have the ability to feel what's more likely to be true than not and when you really feel it deeply, and sink into it, and without fear represent it, it has a force that changes things. and can move mountains really. host: i'm glad that you raised truth and power.
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i think they are important. yesterday, was the 44th anniversary of hip-hop. it's been around for a while now. and the beauty in that space is talking about culture. it's talking about sharing the stories and realities that everyone is dealing with. you know, individuals like jz and beyonce, and taboo, black eyed peas, who has a video right now. al gore: stand up for standing rock. host: yeah. [applause] don't forget, to go out and vote for that video also at mtv. appreciate that. but you have individuals like chancellor rapper also. anthony smith. as we're talking about expanding the movement, how much does culture play a role in making sure that people are, number one, respected, and two, feel included in the process? al gore: oh, it's absolutely crucial. of course, music in particular has an ability as we all know, to move hearts and minds in ways
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that words alone cannot. we all know that and maybe that's why you started down this road, and asked about the civil rights movement. and let me mention the original song in this new movie, "an inconvenient sequel," my neighbor and bad di in nashville co-wrote a song "truth to power," which really embodies that gandhi type deal and the hook is, i've seen truth turned to power and it's trending. it won't be in the same awards category as "taboo," so it's okay to promote them both. host: we'll try to get them both an award, how is that. i know we're short on time, but there were a couple of other questions that folks asked me to ask you.
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and one of them is the general question that we have to be able to answer. how do we win on climate? al gore: well, first of all, we have a big ally, and that's mother nature. these climate related extreme weather events really and truly, unfortunately are, a lot more common and a lot more destructive. and there is a lot of evidence now that people who might put themselves culturally on the other side of the political divide on climate may not feel comfortable using the phrase global warming or climate crisis, are finding their own language, to express what their senses are telling them. it started big time with all the jobs that work outside. but in winning these conversations can, that's a big part of it, because the resistance, you know, sometimes people just fly into a rage if they hear the phrase, global warming.
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it's almost like a dysfunctional family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage if somebody mentions the word alcohol. so the rest of the family just kind of tiptoes around without ever talking about the elephant in the room and i think they worry that they will lose 7-14% of their viewers if they even talk about global warming. it's an embarrassment to our country that we just went through the third presidential elections cycle in a row without one single question about climate being in any of the debates. that's a disgrace. [applause] al gore: but we all can help change that and insist that the conversation take place and that we win that conversation. this movie, the reason why i want to encourage as many people as possible to see this movie, it opens this weekend all over the country, a hundred percent
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of the profits go to train more climate activists and there is a book of the same title on the "new york times" best seller list now, this week, a hundred percent of those profits go to train more climate activists, the more people who go see this, the greater the chance to build a stronger effective climate movement and i'm proud that we're working not only with the climate reality project but, nrdc, edf, climate hawks and a bunch of other groups who are organizing around the theaters where this movie is being shown. in many cities. not every city but in many cities.
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so learn about it. use your voice. use your vote. go to the town hall meetings. call and knock on the door of your congressional representative and government officials at every level. you know how to do this. netroots nation. big time organizers. [applause] al gore: and this week, indivisible has targeted 14 cities specifically, big cities, where the movie is opening and they are at every showing in all of these 14 cities. i love the individual movement, by the way. i'll tell you, this is two part message that work with elected officials. maybe you already know this. part one, tell them how important the climate issue is, and tell them if they are going to do the right thing, you'll support them. part two, but in order to make part two work you've got to first of all, decide deep down
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that you mean this. part two is, to tell them, if they vote with the polluters instead of with the people, just look them in the eye and say, i promise you, that i am going to do everything in my power to contact as many people in your district as i can possibly contact and i'm going to beat you and kick you out of office. [cheers and applause] host: when the movement is successful, because i don't believe there is any other alternative. al gore: we've got to do it. host: what will our country look like? what will the planet look -- like for our grandchildren and great, great grandchildren? al gore: i have to start with a candid expression that regrettably, some damage has been done that can't be rolled back, some sections of
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antarctica and green land have now crossed a pint where they will continue melting. no matter what. some temperature increases will continue. some of the other changes. but it's sort of like, you know, if somebody is a heavy smoker and has been for 40 years and goes to the doctor, doc, i have been smoking three packs a day for 40 years, i just guess there is no point in me quitting now. because my fate is sealed, right? and the doctor will say, no. that's not right. here's what the medical studies show. if you quit now, your chances improve year by year by year. now, to come back to climate what the scientists tell us is, yes, we've put a lot of this stuff up the there, and some of it will be there for a thousand years. but if we could magically stop putting any manmade global
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warming solution into the atmosphere tomorrow, how long would it take for half of it, 50%, to fall back out of the sky. 20 years. host: 20 years. okay. al gore: that means a lot of it would still be up there so the truthful realistic answer to your question is, we have done some damage. but far more significantly the scientists tell us, there is no doubt that we do still have the capacity to avoid the catastrophic consequence that is would threaten all future civilization if we did not take control of this. let me just say one other thing. this can sound abstract. it's a planetary deal. we're talking about the future. just let yourself sink into this realization, we're taking a risk that the next generation will see the gates of hell open.
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and ask of us why we had no concern about who was going to happen to them. we're taking that kind of risk. you asked earlier is it a moral issue. you bet it's a moral issue. and it's already affecting us now, so it's a practical issue as well. host: so closing question. i have heard you speak about power and we've had a lot of conversations over the last few days about power. at hip-hop caucus we talk about power and how that translates into real change actually happening. talk to folks a little bit about, you know, do they actually have power. al gore: yeah.
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now, again, good news and bad news. the does news outweighs the bad news but i'll give you the bad news first. it is true that big money now has an extremely unhealthy degree of influence over the way our political system operates. and there are some elected officials who are so under their influence, they are so controlled by the big money, that, it's hard to imagine what turns them around. but the good news is, that bar that we have to clear with people power, maybe a little higher now, but we can clear it.
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we can clear it. look at what many of you did earlier this year, when that god awful healthcare proposal was put forward by trump and the republicans in the congress, and on their first break they went to their town hall meetings back home and all hell broke loose. host: sure did. al gore: [applause] al gore: and some of them who, you might have thought they were in that camp that they were so in the pockets of the special interest, and were lost, they came back and said i've got to change on this issue. my constituents are restless. host: yes. al gore: they are mad. and if i don't change i'm worried i'm going to lose my job. so it can be done. there is strength in numbers. there is strength in the connection that the netroots nation make and that does meet up with physical connections, with leadership and determination to go and get this done. some people say, well, i don't know. i'm just not sure that we have enough political will.
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but here's a powerful secret. political will is itself a renewable resource. and all we have to do is fix it. host: yes, it is, yes, it is. [applause] host: folks are curious about charlottesville. i know that your father actually was, you know, very engaged around civil rights, actually stood up around southern manifesto. al gore: one of only two senators to refuse. he made some mistakes but he was
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a powerful advocate for the voting rights act. what happened in charlottesville just today, well, last night, was that march, and then the great tragedy today and reverend led us in prayer and we should remember the person who lost his life, his or her life, i'm not sure, i haven't -- host: her. al gore: a person who lost her life, and 19 injured and some of the injuries are serious. there is a lot to say. i'm picking and choosing what is going to be most useful to say or what might be of most value. al gore: there is a vigilant outcry but do i want to say that our country is facing a
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dangerous time with the rise of some of these hate groups. and i waited for president trump to make his statement. they said he was going to come out at three. and everybody else came out and they set the stage and waited and waited and waited. he was deliberating and then when he came out, he did not say anything about the fact that neo-nazis and the kkk was, and the alt right, were out there
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trying to provoke hatefulness and divide people. and i was surprised that the statement appeared to give a kind of moral equivalence to the people who had organized this kkk nazi march, and the people who said we're going to stand against fascism and nazism and racism, and we don't want that in our community. i don't know about the fist fights earlier in the day. violence on both sides. i don't know, but i do know that it was a terrorist act on the part of the person who drove that vehicle. [applause]
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al gore: i would say to the president, mr. president, for the sake of our country, i would urge you to try again on -- i'm serious, i don't mean it as a laugh line, i'm serious, we're in trouble here, and we'll get through it okay but this is really a troubling time, and i say in all sincerity to the president, i would urge you to give more thought to what it means to have a resurgence of the ku klux klan and the that nazi movement marching and creating this kind of hatefulness. he said he want us to have a section for one another and love one another and have a good
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time, that's what his statement was, and, mr. president, that's not enough. that's not enough. because the people who are in this alt right, kkk, nazi group, they are not interested in building affection for other americans. they are not interested in loving all people. they are interested in provoking hatred and using prejudice as a way to divide the country. so we need to speak out against it and the country would be better served if the president would come back before the people and make a more thoughtful and appropriate statement about how we should understand what's going on there and how we can go forward as a nation. host: yes.
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[applause] host: my grandfather always said leadership matters, and what you do in that space is super important. we want to thank you for your leadership, and i think we should also, because this is the last session here at netroots nation, i think we should send a message to the country so i would like everybody to stand up. i would like for to you look to the person to your right, don't stare, look to the person to your left, i want you to reach out your right hand to the person on the right-hand side, and grab the person on your left-hand side, take their hand, all right. because -- host: thank you. and i want you to realize something that the vice president shared, there are two sort of powers that are in our
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country, one of them, and we're going to have -- one is money and the other is the power of people, if you look around this room tonight, you see black folks, you see white folks, you see latinos, you see indigenous folks, you see asian americans and pacific islanders. you see gay and you the say straight. you may see healthy and you may see those still moving up the ladder, if you will. the real power that exists inside of our country is when we're willing to touch each other and remember that we're all human and embrace our humanity. i want everybody to reach your hands up above your heads and say power. [power] >> one last time, say it like you mean it so they hear you all across atlanta and our shores. >> power.
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[power] >> i want to thank y'all for being here this evening and thank the president. >> great job. great job. [applause] >> meet outside to march to city hall. stand in solidarity and fight white supremacy. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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