How is it that a guy who says he's not running for anything can give a killer-diller speech that no other national candidate even approaches?
Such is the paradox for our nation, getting burned by our profligate energy consumption, overspending, overborrowing and Inspector Clouseau-like regulation of our financial institutions.
Al Gore, the most forward-thinking popularly elected candidate of recent times, nailed the energy agenda in a speech today. Let's switch to clean power in 10 years. It should be a pressing national priority. It can be done. It needs to be done.
Why can't Obama and McCain articulate this? What are they afraid of? Is Obama afraid of being audacious? Is McCain scared of the Bush-Cheney-Saudi cartel that has us hoodwinked into believing that drilling for more oil will solve our problems? The only guy who really gets it is Ralph Nader, who nobody is giving any airtime to as he assails corporate America, the leukemia of American politics.
Gore says "our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels is at the core of all three of these challenges — the economic, environmental and national security crises. We’re borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Persian Gulf to burn it in ways that destroy the planet. Every bit of that has to change.”
Bravo! Economy. Ecology. National Security. What's not to like about his argument?
The only thing missing from Gore's speech is maybe the reason why he didn't let loose his pit bulls in Florida to save the election from the forces of evil in Florida in 2000. He's being too nice. I think he still wants people to like and respect him. He wants a consensus.
What's missing from the Gore agenda is a political edginess that gets people out in front of their Congressmen. It gets them mobilized to identify and corner the trogdolytes in the Senate who are holding up energy credit and climate change legislation.
Where's the outrage? Where's the organized mob that will deluge the trolls who think that carbon-based economies are still the way to go? Of course, the oil, coal and gas industries want nothing to do with Gore.
You didn't see any progressive CEOs up on stage with him. But they know that few, if any, outside of Oregon, California, Wisconsin and Massachusetts are prepared to storm the barricades of conventional wisdom. Those who are fat and happy and still fill up their SUVs are the ones who need to be upset enough to hurl epithets at their elected representatives.
"To those who say 10 years is not enough time, I respectfully ask them to consider seriously what the world’s scientists are telling us about the risks we face if we don’t act in less than 10 years,” he said.
Al Gore laid down the green gauntlet a long time ago. Now it's time to put up or shut up.
How many people can he get in every Congressional district to get in the candidate for change? How does he alter the status quo? It was a fine speech, but it has to go beyond words. He's not running for office anymore and sainthood only goes to those who make supreme sacrifices.