Al Gore: Trump Fails to Derail the Energy Revolution
By Paul Brown
Donald Trump "cannot rewrite history," and no matter what he says or does the Paris agreement to limit climate change will survive and is even stronger as a result of Trump's rejection. This is the verdict pronounced by a former U.S. vice-president turned climate campaigner as Al Gore spurns Trump for a failed attempt to derail the energy revolution.
Speaking in London last night, Gore said: "I was worried when the president of my country announced he was making an announcement about climate change, that if he hauled the U.S. out of the Paris agreement other nations would use it as an excuse to follow.
"There has been no such cascade. Indeed, no-one else has left. What we have seen is increasing support for the agreement from across the world, and within the US expressions of solidarity from American governors, mayors and business.
"No matter what President Donald Trump says, no-one can stop the energy revolution now."
Gore was speaking at the Royal Geographical Society in London at a ceremony to present the 2017 Ashden Awards. Ashden gives financial prizes and practical assistance to organizations across the world which promote renewable energy, providing cleaner air and sustainable transport. So far 200 groups, improving the lives of 80 million people, have been honored.
Gore, who first came to the Ashden Awards 10 years ago, served as U.S. vice-president for eight years from 1993, and represented the U.S. in Japan when the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997. He was also present at the conclusion of the Paris agreement in 2015.
He now campaigns on climate issues and, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Gore told the Ashden winners that the sustainability revolution, as he called it, was one of the great moral causes of human history. It was like many of the movements of the past—the abolition of slavery, winning women's suffrage, ending apartheid in South Africa and gaining civil rights in America.People said it could not be done, it met all kinds of fierce resistance, but in the end these causes triumphed.
"It boils down in the end to what is right and what is wrong. It is clearly wrong to destroy the Earth for future generations. It is wrong to use the sky as an open sewer. It is right to give future generations hope and to give them a clean and sustainable future."
In a direct repudiation of President Trump's own view of climate change, Gore said the overwhelming scientific evidence was that global warming was already here and a dangerous threat to the Earth.
"The greatest advocate of all, Mother Nature, is telling us what a mess we are creating", Gore said. He spoke of how the Earth's water cycle was being disrupted, sea levels were rising and diseases spreading.
Bypassing Fossil Fuels
But he believed it was possible to change and to save the situation. Human civilization had begun with the agricultural revolution, then in the 19th century the industrial revolution, followed in our lifetimes by the digital revolution. Now it was the sustainability revolution that was under way.
It was happening across the world in rich and poor countries alike. Solar power was bringing electricity to parts of the world that had never seen electric light. People in parts of Africa and Asia were bypassing the fossil fuel age altogether.
For a long time, Gore said, it had seemed that change was too difficult to achieve and could not be completed in time to avoid catastrophe. But then things had begun to "move much faster than you thought they ever could."
He described the strides being made in China and India on renewable energy, particularly on adopting solar power and producing electric cars. "Already we are seeing carbon dioxide emissions stabilize. There is a hint they are beginning to decline. Maybe we have just reached the tipping point," he said.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Climate News Network.
- Redwoods are the world's tallest trees.
- Now scientists have discovered they are even bigger than we thought.
- Using laser technology they map the 80-meter giants.
- Trees are a key plank in the fight against climate change.
They are among the largest trees in the world, descendants of forests where dinosaurs roamed.
Pixabay / Simi Luft<p><span>Until recently, measuring these trees meant scaling their 80 meter high trunks with a tape measure. Now, a team of scientists from University College London and the University of Maryland uses advanced laser scanning, to create 3D maps and calculate the total mass.</span></p><p>The results are striking: suggesting the trees <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">may be as much as 30% larger than earlier measurements suggested.</a> Part of that could be due to the additional trunks the Redwoods can grow as they age, <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">a process known as reiteration</a>.</p>
New 3D measurements of large redwood trees for biomass and structure. Nature / UCL<p>Measuring the trees more accurately is important because carbon capture will probably play a key role in the battle against climate change. Forest <a href="https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/09/carbon-sequestration-natural-forest-regrowth" target="_blank">growth could absorb billions of tons</a> of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.</p><p>"The importance of big trees is widely-recognised in terms of carbon storage, demographics and impact on their surrounding ecosystems," the authors wrote<a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank"> in the journal Nature</a>. "Unfortunately the importance of big trees is in direct proportion to the difficulty of measuring them."</p><p>Redwoods are so long lived because of their ability to <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-73733-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cope with climate change, resist disease and even survive fire damage</a>, the scientists say. Almost a fifth of their volume may be bark, which helps protect them.</p>
Carbon Capture Champions<p><span>Earlier research by scientists at Humboldt University and the University of Washington found that </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112716302584" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Redwood forests store almost 2,600 tonnes of carbon per hectare</a><span>, their bark alone containing more carbon than any other neighboring species.</span></p><p>While the importance of trees in fighting climate change is widely accepted, not all species enjoy the same protection as California's coastal Redwoods. In 2019 the world lost the equivalent of <a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/deforestation-and-forest-degradation" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">30 soccer fields of forest cover every minute</a>, due to agricultural expansion, logging and fires, according to The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).</p>
Pixabay<p>Although <a href="https://c402277.ssl.cf1.rackcdn.com/publications/1420/files/original/Deforestation_fronts_-_drivers_and_responses_in_a_changing_world_-_full_report_%281%29.pdf?1610810475" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">the rate of loss is reported to have slowed in recent years</a>, reforesting the world to help stem climate change is a massive task.</p><p><span>That's why the World Economic Forum launched the Trillion Trees Challenge (</span><a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a><span>) and is engaging organizations and individuals across the globe through its </span><a href="https://uplink.weforum.org/uplink/s/uplink-issue/a002o00000vOf09AAC/trillion-trees" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Uplink innovation crowdsourcing platform</a><span> to support the project.</span></p><p>That's backed up by research led by ETH Zurich/Crowther Lab showing there's potential to restore tree coverage across 2.2 billion acres of degraded land.</p><p>"Forests are critical to the health of the planet," according to <a href="https://www.1t.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">1t.org</a>. "They sequester carbon, regulate global temperatures and freshwater flows, recharge groundwater, anchor fertile soil and act as flood barriers."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor">Reposted with permission from the </em><span><em data-redactor-tag="em" data-verified="redactor"><a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/03/redwoods-store-more-co2-and-are-more-enormous-than-we-thought/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>.</em></span></p>
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