SHOULD AL GORE RUN FOR PRESIDENT?

Today it was announced that Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize for his crusade on climate change. The prestigious award capped a remarkable year for Gore in which he won an Oscar for his documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth” and organized an international concert to raise consciousness on climate change.

Immediately after the news of the award liberal blogs and call-in shows began to fill the ether with calls for Gore to run for president. The argument for his running was summed up in a full-page ad in the New York Times which said in part: “”Your country needs you now – as do your party and the planet you are fighting so hard to save. Only from the Oval Office can you wield the kind of influence needed to move countries, policies and corporations to bring about meaningful change.”

In addition Gore’s supporters (and they are organizing all over the U.S. into “Draft Gore” groups), feel that he is owed the presidency because he was robbed of the office in 2000 when he won the popular vote.

Al Gore himself has consistently said he has no plans to run but he has not said flatly he won’t run. The pressure on him now to do so will be immense. And time is short. November 2 is the deadline for entering the New Hampshire primary. Should he run, there is no question Gore would shake up the race and would provide substantial opposition to Senator Hillary Clinton.

Would you like to see Al Gore run for president? Or do you think he would have more credibilty on environmental issues if he remained out of partisan politics?

Have you seen “Inconvenient Truth”? Do you recommend it?

13 Comments »

  1. 1
    jeremy Says:

    As a dual citizen, I do think Al Gore should run for president. I think that he would be a formidable opponent to the candidates running now. He has a handle on one issue that will demand attention worldwide, as it already has. He has the knowledge and ability, I believe to lead a nation forwards with the right list of priorities.

    I have seen the film, it is quite interesting to say the least, although some have said it is overblown. We who live in Canada are acutely aware of what global warming is doing to our country here and in the North. Those who live in the U.S. don’t have the view that we do.

    Yes Mr. Gore, run for the Presidency of the United States.

    Jeremy

  2. 2
    Chimera Says:

    Whether or not he runs for president is up to him, but I won’t be the one urging him to do it. I have too much respect for his ability to lead and communicate to want him saddled with the responsibility of putting out fires he did not start. The American presidency is a shell (anybody really think Bush really hears what comes out of his own mouth?). It gets all the attention and all the blame, but the job itself is a dead end. I think he knows that, which is why he said he wouldn’t run.

    What I’d really like to see him do is become the CEO and majority stockholder in a giant corporation that really can make a difference. That would be worthy of his talents!

    Yes, I’ve seen “Inconvenient Truth.” I borrowed a free copy from my local library — something anyone can do if they’re sitting on the fence and don’t want to spend the money to rent it. And yes, I do recommend it. If you find it as intriguing and comrehensive as I did the first time ’round, you’ll want to buy your own copy so you can watch it again. You don’t retain all the information with only one viewing.

  3. 3

    Jeremy:
    As you say Gore would be a formidable candidate and if he won the nomination I don’t think he’d have much difficulty defeating a Republican like Giuliani.
    Chimera:
    In some respects the American presidency is a shell (I doubt that President Gore would be able to convince Congress of his views on climate change) but surely you would agree it is the greatest bully pulpit in the world. President Gore would be able to address and educate all countries on climate change in a way he would not be able to do as a corporation president.

  4. 4
    Chimera Says:

    “…surely you would agree it is the greatest bully pulpit in the world.”

    It used to be, back in the days when everyone involved in the American government believed in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and the idea that democracy was truly the best system in the world. Back in the days when the USA was everyone’s freedom fighter instead of everyone’s subjugator. Back in the days when the president could speak and mean what he said, instead of mouthing crap fed to him by his handlers.

    But not anymore. Not unless you mean “bully” in its literal sense.

    And he’s already educating other countries. The Nobel prize is a world recognition.

  5. 5
    jeremy Says:

    I agree. The office of the president has changed over the whole of my lifetime. The responsibility and respect of the commander in chief has fallen apart, due to special interest and corporate money. (They) who fill that position next will have a great deal of mending to do – to the world.

    If Al Gore doesn’t run for president, he might make it as second on a ticket, possibly. Or like you said, as a leader (CEO) in some world sized corporation that might make a difference for the future. Having the ear of the next president could bode very well for him. If he doesn’t run.

    The president is just a mouthpiece for those who would see him speak, Bush is a prime example of a marionette. When they pull his strings, he moves. And sometimes he talks as well, but nobody’s listening any more.

    Gore could change all of that… with what he has done to date, Gore is on the news here in Montreal as I write this. “Never say Never…”

  6. 6
    Barbara Says:

    Gore could do much to restore the dignity and respect of the US Presidency. That said, he would be hamstrung by the Office and the dim bulbs in Congress and the muck left behind by the Bush presidency.

  7. 7

    He can if he wants to, but I wouldn’t vote for him. I have not seen An Inconvenient Truth, but I’d consider seeing it if time and opportunity allow. What troubles me about Mr. Gore is his insistence that the debate over climate change is over. He may be right about the issue, I don’t know, but it I’m skeptical of someone who seems to want to stop all discussion that disagrees with his position, especially on an issue that involves manifold variables and correlations more than causalities. I’m open to being proven wrong, though.

  8. 8

    Kyle:
    I certainly agree with you that the debate about what to do about climate change is not over. It is just beginning.
    But it does seem to me that the scientific debate about the seriousness of climate change – as the primary threat of our time — is over. There is a consensus among most reputable scientists on this point.

  9. 9

    Sorry, I meant to say the debate about what to do about climate change is NOT over. It is just beginning.

  10. 10
    Chimera Says:

    Kyle: When Al Gore says the debate is over, he does not mean that people should stop talking about it. He means that the facts are so obvious that to argue against the existence of global warming is the futile (and somewhat desperate) act of those who think that if they refuse to see it, it isn’t happening.

    But you said you haven’t seen it yet. How do you know what he said if you’ve never seen it? Reliance upon someone else’s slanted opinion — when it’s so easy to form your own opinion — is lazy, doncha think?

  11. 11

    Al Gore’s research and contributions to the debate over global warming are available outside his movie, so my not having seen his film doesn’t mean I am not familiar with his thought on the matter. I have seen presentations and interviews he has done, which give a synopsis of his argument, though probably not as detailed an argument as presents in his film.

    My skepticism is not over the reality of global warming, for which there is emperical evidence to support beyond reasonable doubt–so far as I can tell. What I do find dubious is the proposition that there is no doubt that human behavior is causing global warming. I seem to remember Gore making this assertion, but perhaps I heard incorrectly.

    As I understand the evidence, the most support we have in defense of that proposition are correlations between certain human actions and changes in climate, but correlation is different from causality. Is there evidence a) that human beings cause global warming and b) to what decree is the causal effect?

    My skepticism may be a moot point, however, for I believe that the way we respond to the environment requires radical improvement. I’ve lived in the smog infested suburbs of Los Angeles, the fresh air of Iowa, and the heavily polluted steel country along the Ohio River (where local corruption has made the air and water horrible for the health), and whether or not there is a life-altering threat from global warming, I think we ought not be poluting the environment any more than we absolutely have to, and I’m not opposed to prudent government regulations to that end. Trust in “market solutions” is a foolish trust unless the people in the market have a love of and respect for the natural world. They don’t; most people are apathetic about the state of nature, or see it as an inconvenience between them and Wal-mart.

  12. 12

    Kyle:
    Thanks for your very thoughtful comment on global warming. I plan to write a piece for a community newspaper on climate change and will explore your question as to how much causality there is between human activities and climate change. Thanks again.

  13. 13

    Neil,

    I look forward to seeing what you find. I feel kind of weird not having a firm opinion on the climate change debate; perhaps my uncertainty is a knee-jerk reaction to the unequivocal certainty often claimed by both sides in the discussion. I find it all very confusing. Perhaps you’ll help me choose the right side.

    I like the new look of your blog, by the way.


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