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  • Thank you so much, Chris.

  • And it's truly a great honor to have the opportunity

  • to come to this stage twice; I'm extremely grateful.

  • I have been blown away by this conference,

  • and I want to thank all of you for the many nice comments

  • about what I had to say the other night.

  • And I say that sincerely,

  • partly because (Mock sob)

  • I need that.

  • (Laughter)

  • Put yourselves in my position.

  • (Laughter)

  • I flew on Air Force Two for eight years.

  • (Laughter)

  • Now I have to take off my shoes or boots to get on an airplane!

  • (Laughter)

  • (Applause)

  • I'll tell you one quick story

  • to illustrate what that's been like for me.

  • (Laughter)

  • It's a true story -- every bit of this is true.

  • Soon after Tipper and I left the -- (Mock sob) White House --

  • (Laughter)

  • we were driving from our home in Nashville to a little farm we have

  • 50 miles east of Nashville.

  • Driving ourselves.

  • (Laughter)

  • I know it sounds like a little thing to you, but --

  • (Laughter)

  • I looked in the rear-view mirror

  • and all of a sudden it just hit me.

  • There was no motorcade back there.

  • (Laughter)

  • You've heard of phantom limb pain?

  • (Laughter)

  • This was a rented Ford Taurus.

  • (Laughter)

  • It was dinnertime,

  • and we started looking for a place to eat.

  • We were on I-40.

  • We got to Exit 238, Lebanon, Tennessee.

  • We got off the exit, we found a Shoney's restaurant.

  • Low-cost family restaurant chain, for those of you who don't know it.

  • We went in and sat down at the booth, and the waitress came over,

  • made a big commotion over Tipper.

  • (Laughter)

  • She took our order, and then went to the couple in the booth next to us,

  • and she lowered her voice so much,

  • I had to really strain to hear what she was saying.

  • And she said "Yes, that's former Vice President Al Gore

  • and his wife, Tipper."

  • And the man said,

  • "He's come down a long way, hasn't he?"

  • (Laughter)

  • (Applause)

  • There's been kind of a series of epiphanies.

  • (Laughter)

  • The very next day, continuing the totally true story,

  • I got on a G-V to fly to Africa to make a speech in Nigeria,

  • in the city of Lagos, on the topic of energy.

  • And I began the speech by telling them the story

  • of what had just happened the day before in Nashville.

  • And I told it pretty much the same way I've just shared it with you:

  • Tipper and I were driving ourselves,

  • Shoney's, low-cost family restaurant chain,

  • what the man said -- they laughed.

  • I gave my speech, then went back out to the airport to fly back home.

  • I fell asleep on the plane

  • until, during the middle of the night, we landed

  • on the Azores Islands for refueling.

  • I woke up, they opened the door, I went out to get some fresh air,

  • and I looked, and there was a man running across the runway.

  • And he was waving a piece of paper, and he was yelling,

  • "Call Washington! Call Washington!"

  • And I thought to myself, in the middle of the night,

  • in the middle of the Atlantic,

  • what in the world could be wrong in Washington?

  • Then I remembered it could be a bunch of things.

  • (Laughter)

  • But what it turned out to be,

  • was that my staff was extremely upset

  • because one of the wire services in Nigeria had already written a story

  • about my speech,

  • and it had already been printed in cities

  • all across the United States of America.

  • It was printed in Monterey, I checked.

  • (Laughter)

  • And the story began,

  • "Former Vice President Al Gore announced in Nigeria yesterday," quote:

  • 'My wife Tipper and I have opened a low-cost family restaurant'" --

  • (Laughter)

  • "'named Shoney's,

  • and we are running it ourselves.'"

  • (Laughter)

  • Before I could get back to U.S. soil,

  • David Letterman and Jay Leno had already started in on --

  • one of them had me in a big white chef's hat,

  • Tipper was saying, "One more burger with fries!"

  • (Laughter)

  • Three days later,

  • I got a nice, long, handwritten letter

  • from my friend and partner and colleague Bill Clinton, saying,

  • "Congratulations on the new restaurant, Al!"

  • (Laughter)

  • We like to celebrate each other's successes in life.

  • (Laughter)

  • I was going to talk about information ecology.

  • But I was thinking that,

  • since I plan to make a lifelong habit of coming back to TED,

  • that maybe I could talk about that another time.

  • (Applause)

  • Chris Anderson: It's a deal!

  • (Applause)

  • Al Gore: I want to focus on what many of you have said

  • you would like me to elaborate on:

  • What can you do about the climate crisis?

  • I want to start with a couple of --

  • I'm going to show some new images,

  • and I'm going to recapitulate just four or five.

  • Now, the slide show.

  • I update the slide show every time I give it.

  • I add new images,

  • because I learn more about it every time I give it.

  • It's like beach-combing, you know?

  • Every time the tide comes in and out, you find some more shells.

  • Just in the last two days, we got the new temperature records in January.

  • This is just for the United States of America.

  • Historical average for Januarys is 31 degrees;

  • last month was 39.5 degrees.

  • Now, I know that you wanted some more bad news about the environment --

  • I'm kidding.

  • But these are the recapitulation slides,

  • and then I'm going to go into new material about what you can do.

  • But I wanted to elaborate on a couple of these.

  • First of all, this is where we're projected to go

  • with the U.S. contribution to global warming,

  • under business as usual.

  • Efficiency in end-use electricity and end-use of all energy

  • is the low-hanging fruit.

  • Efficiency and conservation -- it's not a cost; it's a profit.

  • The sign is wrong.

  • It's not negative; it's positive.

  • These are investments that pay for themselves.

  • But they are also very effective in deflecting our path.

  • Cars and trucks -- I talked about that in the slideshow,

  • but I want you to put it in perspective.

  • It's an easy, visible target of concern --

  • and it should be --

  • but there is more global warming pollution that comes from buildings

  • than from cars and trucks.

  • Cars and trucks are very significant,

  • and we have the lowest standards in the world.

  • And so we should address that. But it's part of the puzzle.

  • Other transportation efficiency is as important as cars and trucks.

  • Renewables at the current levels of technological efficiency

  • can make this much difference.

  • And with what Vinod, and John Doerr and others, many of you here --

  • there are a lot of people directly involved in this --

  • this wedge is going to grow much more rapidly

  • than the current projection shows it.

  • Carbon Capture and Sequestration -- that's what CCS stands for --

  • is likely to become the killer app that will enable us

  • to continue to use fossil fuels in a way that is safe.

  • Not quite there yet.

  • OK. Now, what can you do?

  • Reduce emissions in your home.

  • Most of these expenditures are also profitable.

  • Insulation, better design.

  • Buy green electricity where you can.

  • I mentioned automobiles -- buy a hybrid.

  • Use light rail.

  • Figure out some of the other options that are much better.

  • It's important.

  • Be a green consumer.

  • You have choices with everything you buy,

  • between things that have a harsh effect,

  • or a much less harsh effect on the global climate crisis.

  • Consider this:

  • Make a decision to live a carbon-neutral life.

  • Those of you who are good at branding,

  • I'd love to get your advice and help

  • on how to say this in a way that connects with the most people.

  • It is easier than you think.

  • It really is.

  • A lot of us in here have made that decision,

  • and it is really pretty easy.

  • It means reduce your carbon dioxide emissions

  • with the full range of choices that you make,

  • and then purchase or acquire offsets

  • for the remainder that you have not completely reduced.

  • And what it means is elaborated at climatecrisis.net.

  • There is a carbon calculator.

  • Participant Productions convened --

  • with my active involvement --

  • the leading software writers in the world,

  • on this arcane science of carbon calculation,

  • to construct a consumer-friendly carbon calculator.

  • You can very precisely calculate what your CO2 emissions are,

  • and then you will be given options to reduce.

  • And by the time the movie comes out in May,

  • this will be updated to 2.0,

  • and we will have click-through purchases of offsets.

  • Next, consider making your business carbon-neutral.

  • Again, some of us have done that,

  • and it's not as hard as you think.

  • Integrate climate solutions into all of your innovations,

  • whether you are from the technology,

  • or entertainment, or design and architecture community.

  • Invest sustainably.

  • Majora mentioned this.

  • Listen, if you have invested money with managers who you compensate

  • on the basis of their annual performance,

  • don't ever again complain about quarterly report CEO management.

  • Over time, people do what you pay them to do.

  • And if they judge how much they're going to get paid

  • on your capital that they've invested,

  • based on the short-term returns,

  • you're going to get short-term decisions.

  • A lot more to be said about that.

  • Become a catalyst of change.

  • Teach others, learn about it, talk about it.

  • The movie is a movie version of the slideshow

  • I gave two nights ago, except it's a lot more entertaining.

  • And it comes out in May.

  • Many of you here have the opportunity to ensure that a lot of people see it.

  • Consider sending somebody to Nashville.

  • Pick well.

  • And I am personally going to train people to give this slideshow --

  • re-purposed, with some of the personal stories obviously replaced

  • with a generic approach,

  • and it's not just the slides, it's what they mean.

  • And it's how they link together.

  • And so I'm going to be conducting a course this summer

  • for a group of people that are nominated by different folks

  • to come and then give it en masse,

  • in communities all across the country,

  • and we're going to update the slideshow for all of them every single week,

  • to keep it right on the cutting edge.

  • Working with Larry Lessig, it will be, somewhere in that process,

  • posted with tools and limited-use copyrights,

  • so that young people can remix it and do it in their own way.

  • (Applause)

  • Where did anybody get the idea

  • that you ought to stay arm's length from politics?

  • It doesn't mean that if you're a Republican,

  • that I'm trying to convince you to be a Democrat.

  • We need Republicans as well.

  • This used to be a bipartisan issue,

  • and I know that in this group it really is.

  • Become politically active.

  • Make our democracy work the way it's supposed to work.

  • Support the idea of capping carbon dioxide emissions --