Gore Testifies On Climate Change On Capitol Hill

Former Vice President Al Gore took the issue of global climate change to Capitol Hill on Wednesday. He addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Host Alex Cohen takes a look at the proceedings.

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ALEX COHEN, host:

From the Studios of NPR West, this is Day to Day. I'm Alex Cohen. Coming up on the program we go to Hawaii to meet one of the men behind the science of global warming. That was the topic on Capitol Hill today as former Vice President Al Gore addressed the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

Mr. AL GORE (Former Vice President): We have arrived at a moment of decision. Our home; Earth, is in danger. What is at risk of being destroyed is not the planet itself, of course, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings. Moreover, we must face up to this urgent and unprecedented threat to the existence of our civilization at a time when our nation must simultaneously solve two other worsening crises.

COHEN: Al Gore outlines solutions he believes are needed to address the climate crisis. He urged passage of President Obama's stimulus package, which sets aside money for new power grids and energy efficient homes.

Mr. GORE: These crucial investments will create millions of new jobs and hasten our economic recovery while strengthening our national security and beginning to solve the climate crisis.

COHEN: The former vice president also talked about the Copenhagen Climate Conference scheduled for the end for this year. He said the United States needs to lead the world there on a new climate treaty.

Mr. GORE: A fair, effective, and balanced treaty will put in place the global architecture that will place the world, at long last and in the nick of time, on a path towards solving the climate crisis and securing the future of human civilization. I am hopeful that this can be achieved.

COHEN: And what would an Al Gore presentation be without slides?

Mr. GORE: Please bear with me on this slide. I don't normally include this, and it's a little complex. But I want you to see. Now, the next slide I'm going to show you illustrates that in 2008, you see on the left hand slide, here are two short images from the University of Fairbanks. This is a recent satellite picture of one small ridge in the Himalayas, and I only have two more. This is...

COHEN: The man comes prepared.

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