Al Gore Tells Senate Committee That We Have Arrived at a Moment of Decision Regarding Climate Change

Al Gore addressing the 2008 UN Climate Talks in Poland

I guess the wintry weather didn't deter him, because Al Gore testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on, you guessed it, the intersection of climate change and the energy crisis.

Gore opened by saying that, "We have arrived at a moment of decision...What is at risk of being destroyed is not the planet itself, of course, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings." He then went on to recommend how we should act to prevent this:Pass President Obama's Economic Recovery Package

In order to repower our economy, restore American economic and moral leadership in the world and regain control of our destiny, we must take bold action now. The first step is already before us. I urge this Congress to quickly pass the entirety of President Obama's Recovery package.

Increase Investment in Renewable Energy, Efficiency Measures
The plan's unprecedented and critical investments in four key areas — energy efficiency, renewables, a unified national energy grid and the move to clean cars — represent an important down payment and are long overdue.

Quickly building our capacity to generate clean electricity will lay the groundwork for the next major step needed: placing a price on carbon.

Establish a Carbon Cap-and-Trade System
If Congress acts right away to pass President Obama's Recovery package and then takes decisive action this year to institute a cap-and-trade system for CO2 emissions — as many of our states and many other countries have already done — the United States will regain its credibility and enter the Copenhagen treaty talks with a renewed authority to lead the world in shaping a fair and effective treaty. And this treaty must be negotiated this year.  Not next year. This year.

How to Build a Successful Post-Kyoto Agreement
Strong targets and timetables from industrialized countries and differentiated but binding commitments from developing countries... The inclusion of deforestation, which alone accounts for twenty percent of the emissions that cause global warming The addition of sinks including those from soils, principally from farmlands and grazing lands The assurance that developing countries will have access to mechanisms and resources that will help them adapt to the worst impacts of the climate crisis and, A strong compliance and verification regime.

Gore's posted a complete transcript of his prepared remarks over at Huffington Post.

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