Last Updated 07 Jul 2020

Analysis of “Al Gore on Climate Crisis and Global Power”

Category Climate, Crisis
Essay type Analysis
Words 533 (2 pages)
Views 266

Former Vice President Al Gore was the featured “My Turn” opinion writer for the December 18, 2006 issue of Newsweek Magazine. This opinion article was a part of Gore’s environmental awareness campaign which began with the publication of his book An Inconvenient Truth.

 Gore presents a very well written argument advocating the necessity for massive change in the use of energy. According to Gore, “we are now faced with an urgent crisis—a crisis that is altering the very nature of the earth’s climate.”

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Gore makes his compelling argument without preaching, scolding, or frightening. This is extremely rare, and valuable, given the highly volatile nature of any debate involving energy sources and environmental concern. The article is interesting for what is said as well as for what is omitted.

The piece is devoid of the usual “doomsday” statistics and anecdotes projecting a critical problem without a solution. Instead, Gore portrays the world at a crossroads, the beginning of “a new age” where “crisis” should be defined as the Chinese write it: “danger” and “opportunity”. He does not need to elaborate on the well-known and documented dangers facing the world regarding climate change. Instead, he illustrates several of the opportunities he visualizes in the future.

His first example is the development of an “electranet” distribution network for electrical power. Instead of massive coal, oil, or nuclear fuel power plants, smaller suppliers, including wind and solar power generators, will be widespread.

Additionally, anyone on the “electranet” who can generate electricity, from small home solar units to larger industrial generators, will be able to sell their surplus power to the grid. Other changes envisioned include “smart” buildings “constructed with breakthrough solar and nanotechnologies” and super-high mileage vehicles.

Gore is optimistic because “market forces that are now in motion— driven by visionaries at companies as diverse as Wal-Mart, British Petroleum and General Electric”  are having an effect. But, more must be done: governments must “exert real leadership” in agreement to the Kyoto treaty and then beyond in order to meet the crisis. With optimism Gore closes by stating it is “a rare opportunity for our generation to unite behind a historic mission.”

I share Gore’s attitude and opinions regarding energy and the environment; however, I believe I am not alone in feeling very apprehensive. A day does not pass without more evidence documenting incredible damage and change in the global environment.

It is easy to fear that the world of our children and grandchildren will be terribly damaged. It is difficult to focus on what one individual can do when there is a fear of it being “too little too late.” As Gore believes market forces will cause the beneficial change, I believe we must examine how “we the people” can be a significant part of that force.

To paraphrase Gore, the immediate future will be incredibly challenging. I believe he frames the issue perfectly as “a historic mission” in which we must all play a significant role. In unity there will be success; the environment does not have the luxury of time for divisiveness or finger-pointing.

Although it is very likely we will be able to see the reward of collective action, if not, it is certain future generations will see the result of our action or inaction.

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Analysis of “Al Gore on Climate Crisis and Global Power”. (2016, Jun 07). Retrieved from

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