DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 30JAN05 - Al Gore at the Annual Meeting 2005 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2005. Photo by Severin Nowacki
Today Al Gore issued a "major challenge" for USA where he said that Americans must abandon electricity generated by fossil fuels within 10 years and instead move over to green renewable energy. He called it "A Generational Challenge to Repower America."
"Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.
This goal is achievable, affordable and transformative. It represents a challenge to all Americans - in every walk of life: to our political leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators, engineers, and to every citizen.
A few years ago, it would not have been possible to issue such a challenge. But here's what's changed: the sharp cost reductions now beginning to take place in solar, wind, and geothermal power - coupled with the recent dramatic price increases for oil and coal - have radically changed the economics of energy."
If the challenge is not accepted "the survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk," Al Gore said.
"There are times in the history of our nation when our very way of life depends upon dispelling illusions and awakening to the challenge of a present danger. In such moments, we are called upon to move quickly and boldly to shake off complacency, throw aside old habits and rise, clear-eyed and alert, to the necessity of big changes. Those who, for whatever reason, refuse to do their part must either be persuaded to join the effort or asked to step aside. This is such a moment. The survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk. And even more - if more should be required - the future of human civilization is at stake."
Al Gore said that by abandoning dirty fossil fuels the USA would generate more and better jobs, fix the economy and make USA, as well as the world, safer. He also said that the solutions to the "climate crisis are the very same measures needed to renew our economy and escape the trap of ever-rising energy prices" as well as end the US dependence on foreign oil.
"In my search for genuinely effective answers to the climate crisis, I have held a series of "solutions summits" with engineers, scientists, and CEOs. In those discussions, one thing has become abundantly clear: when you connect the dots, it turns out that the real solutions to the climate crisis are the very same measures needed to renew our economy and escape the trap of ever-rising energy prices. Moreover, they are also the very same solutions we need to guarantee our national security without having to go to war in the Persian Gulf."
Al Gore also slammed President Bush and the current administration for not doing enough to combat climate change and other major problems facing Americans today.
"I don't remember a time in our country when so many things seemed to be going so wrong simultaneously. Our economy is in terrible shape and getting worse, gasoline prices are increasing dramatically, and so are electricity rates. Jobs are being outsourced. Home mortgages are in trouble. Banks, automobile companies and other institutions we depend upon are under growing pressure. Distinguished senior business leaders are telling us that this is just the beginning unless we find the courage to make some major changes quickly."
"Am I the only one who finds it strange that our government so often adopts a so-called solution that has absolutely nothing to do with the problem it is supposed to address? When people rightly complain about higher gasoline prices, we propose to give more money to the oil companies and pretend that they're going to bring gasoline prices down. It will do nothing of the sort, and everyone knows it."
Al Gore urged people to visit WeCanSolveIt.org and "take action today".
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