Al Gore Likens Climate Change Struggle to Civil Rights

‘When I was a boy a lot of the time growing up in the south, I remember when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum’


COOPER: “You know, you talked about solar, why does the U.S. only get about 1 percent of its electricity right now from solar, I mean, if it’s so great?” 
GORE: “Well, it’s increasing rapidly. And the big change in the cost reduction has come just in the last few years. And where technology particularly is concerned — also politics, sometimes — there was a great economist who died a few years ago, Rudi Dornbusch, and he said this. He said, ‘Things take longer to happen than you think they will, but then they happen much faster than you thought they could.’ And we’ve seen that with all these technological advances, like the smartphones and so forth. We’ve seen it in politics, also. When I was a boy growing up a lot of the time in the South, I remember when the civil rights movement was gaining momentum. I’ll tell you, the resistance to civil rights laws was just as fierce, if not more so, than the resistance to solving the climate crisis. But ultimately, we crossed a political tipping point and people realized, oh, it’s just really a question of right and wrong. Take the gay rights revolution. If somebody had told me even five years ago that in the year 2017 gay marriage would be legal in all 50 states and would be accepted, honored, and celebrated by two-thirds of the American people, I would have said, ‘Well, I sure hope so, but what are you smoking? Because it doesn’t seem very likely.’ But it happened when the strawmen were pushed out of the way and the underbrush was cleared and you saw that it was really a choice between what’s right and what’s wrong. The climate movement is getting to that point now, and the solar energy revolution is getting to that point. When my movie came out a decade ago, that technology curve had just started to go up. Now it’s gone way up. It has really increased dramatically.” 

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