Rolling Stone magazine has devoted a sizable portion of their latest issue (on newsstands until June 28) to talking about the dangers we face relating to global warming. They've enlisted help from some heavy hitters, including media juggernaut and "environmentalist-in-chief" Al Gore, who's been making the rounds lately. In an interview with the mag, Al talks about the rising tide of support for the climate crisis, whether or not we've reached a tipping point, and how events like Live Earth can help his cause. When asked if he believes we can be saved by Priuses and new light bulbs, Gore said, "I agree that we're not going to solve this problem by buying Priuses and changing our light bulbs. But driving hybrids and choosing better technology is still important in two respects. First, it makes a small contribution to reducing CO2. And second, when people make changes in their own lives, they are much more likely to become part of a critical mass of public opinion and to support the bigger policy changes that are going to be needed to really solve the problem."
This is an important point: individually, or as individuals, solving the problem isn't as easy as getting a new car or buying some new light bulbs, but it's an important part of the evolution of the idea that everything we do and everything we buy and consume has a carbon cost. While buying a hybrid won't stop global warming, support of cleaner technology and greener practices is not only a way to reduce an individual's carbon footprint, but a way to begin to engage in social, moral and political activism that represents the "sea change" that Gore references several times in the interview. And he's still optimistic; About his current attitude toward the problem (including his vision for the short term) Al says he still thinks we can turn the ship around: "I will 'fess up to the element of 'hope being father to the thought' here. But I don't think it's an unrealistic hope at all. I believe that it's much more likely than not that we will see within the next few years a very dramatic political change in most of the world, including in the United States, that will sharply reduce CO2." Hmm... read (or listen to) the rest of Al's thoughts, including his latest answer for the million dollar question about returning to politics HERE.