Five minutes of Al Gore
“I’m Al Gore and I used to be the next president of America,” he said. Everyone laughed.
“Now I’m a recovering politician”.
On a speaking tour that touched down for a $500-a-plate dinner in Toronto Tuesday evening, the former U.S. vice president and co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the IPCC told a near-full banquet room of 1,300 members from the “mostly telecoms” business community about his perspective on the green, clean economy.
Problem was not much of it got out during his opening remarks, other than lots of praise for event sponsor Allstream and that Gore is a big fan of companies that challenge the old way of thinking in times of uncertainty.
“Now I know that we are meeting at a time when many business leaders in particular are focused on what the physical changes on our planet and in our ecosphere mean for the former plan for business and the changes that are under way are completely unprecedented, incredibly significant. And I personally am very impressed with the leadership that many (Canadian) businesses have been providing.”
He also took a few jabs at award-winning scientist, author and journalist David Suzuki, who shared a table with Gore at the event and whose foundation I was told would be receiving a donation of $100,000 from the night’s ticket sales.
“I have to admit it’s always so, I don’t know what the word is, not upsetting but (Suzuki) looks so much younger than me. Many people are just amazed for someone who is almost 100 years old, it’s absolutely astonishing.”
Suzuki is 73.
In his new book Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, published earlier this month, Gore calls for a collective will to solve climate issues because the tools are already available.
Come to think of it, it makes perfect sense that Gore is calling for collective will to solve the climate quagmire — his resume is chock-full of shared titles that echo the sentiment of collective brainpower. He was co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, co-founder and chair of Generation Investment Management, (a firm devoted to sustainable investing), a member of the board of directors of Apple Inc., and co-founder and chair of Current TV, a television network for young people based on viewer-created content. (Incidentally, Citizen TV just last week announced it is cutting 80 jobs, but even that doesn’t make him someone who tends to “go it alone”.)
In the script of his speech which he was to deliver after the dozen or so journalists were escorted out of the ballroom, Gore argues “Physical changes in our planet will influence global business and require new corporate strategies that take into account the broader environmental, social and political issues involved in shaping the clean economy of the future.”
What do you think of Al Gore’s message that businesses need to adapt to a changing environment?
(Picture: Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore makes a point during a roundtable discussion at the National Clean Energy Summit 2.0 in Las Vegas, Nevada August 10, 2009. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus)