Image credit: Hopenhagen
Editor's note: This guest post was written by former Vice President Al Gore for the Hopenhagen movement.
The world has arrived at a moment of decision.
As long as we continue to depend on dirty fossil fuels like coal and oil to meet our energy needs, and dump 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere, we move closer and closer to several dangerous tipping points—points which scientists have repeatedly warned would, if crossed, threaten to make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable destruction of the conditions that make human civilization possible on this planet.I've said it numerous times already, but right now we are trapped in a dangerous cycle—borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf, and then burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that's got to change.
Right now, here in the US and all over the world, people are demanding action. There is a much broader consensus than there was when President George H.W. Bush negotiated—and the Senate ratified—the Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992. And there's much stronger consensus than when we completed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.
The road to the signing of an agreement in Copenhagen will not be easy, but the world has traveled this path before. More than twenty years ago the US signed the Montreal Protocol, a treaty to protect the ozone layer, and strengthened it to the point where we banned most of the major pollutants that created the hole in the ozone over Antarctica. And we did it with bipartisan support: President Ronald Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill joined hands to lead the way.
We can do it again and solve the climate crisis, protecting our planet for future generations.
Help turn Copenhagen into Hopenhagen at Hopenhagen.org
Al Gore is chairman of the Alliance for Climate Protection, a non-profit he founded to educate citizens in the U.S. and around the world about solutions to the climate crisis. He is a member of the board of directors of Apple, a senior adviser to Google, a partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and is a Visiting Professor at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
He is the author of the bestsellers Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, Earth in the Balance and An Inconvenient Truth and is the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary. Al Gore is the co-winner, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for "informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change." He and his wife have four children and three grandchildren.
Read more Voices from Hopenhagen:
Voices from Hopenhagen: Laurie David
Voices from Hopenhagen: Jeunesse Park
Voices from Hopenhagen: Ed Begley, Jr.
Voices from Hopenhagen: Paul Shapiro