Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project

Al Gore: ‘The rich have subverted all reason’, Guardian, Carole Cadwalladr, 30 July 17 
With the sequel to his blockbuster documentary An Inconvenient Truth about to be released, Al Gore tells Carole Cadwalladr how his role at the forefront of the fight against climate change consumes his life, Guardian, In the ballroom of a conference centre in Denver, Colorado, 972 people from 42 countries have come together to talk about climate change. It is March 2017, six weeks since Trump’s inauguration; eight weeks before Trump will announce to the world that he is withdrawing America from the Paris Climate Agreement.

These are the early dark days of the new America and yet, in the conference centre, the crowd is upbeat. They’ve all paid out of their own pockets to travel to Denver. They have taken time off work. And they are here, in the presence of their master, Al Gore. Because Al Gore is to climate change… well, what Donald Trump is to climate change denial……

It’s the reason why we are all here – his foundation, the Climate Reality Project, an initiative that grew out of the film, provides intensive training in talking about climate change, combating climate change denial – and the tone might be described as “activist upbeat”. This is a crisis that is solvable, we’re told. Trump is just another hitch, another hurdle to overcome. And it will be overcome. Only occasionally does a sliver of despair leak around the edges. You have to stay positive, a man called David Ellenberger tells the audience. Though sometimes, he admits: “There’s not enough Prozac to get through the day.”….

The war on the mainstream media may capture the headlines currently, but the war on climate change science has been in play for years. And it’s this that is one of the most fascinating aspects of Gore’s new film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. Because if the US had a subtitle at the moment, it might be that, too, and the struggle to overcome fake facts and false narratives funded by corporate interests and politically motivated billionaires is one that Gore has been at the frontline of for more than a decade.

The film runs through a host of facts – that 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2001 is just one. And the accompanying footage is biblical, terrifying: tornadoes, floods, “rain bombs”, exploding glaciers. We see roads falling into rivers and fish swimming through the streets of Miami.

The nightly news, Gore says, has become “a nature hike through the Book of Revelations”. But what his work has shown and continues to show is that evidence is not enough. The film opens with clips from Fox News ridiculing global warming. In recent weeks, the New York Times has started describing the Trump administration as waging a “war on science”, a full-on assault against evidence-based science that runs in parallel with his attacks on evidence-based reporting. And Gore is in something of a unique position to understand this. What becomes clear over the course of several conversations is how entwined he believes it all is – climate change denial, the interests of big capital, “dark money”, billionaire political funders, the ascendancy of Trump and what he calls (he’s written a book on it) “the assault against reason”. They are all pieces of the same puzzle; a puzzle that Gore has been tracking for years, because it turns out that climate change denial was the canary in the coal mine.

“In order to fix the climate crisis, we need to first fix the government crisis,” he says. “Big money has so much influence now.” And he says a phrase that is as dramatic as it is multilayered: “Our democracy has been hacked.”

“I mean that those with access to large amounts of money and raw power,” says Gore, “have been able to subvert all reason and fact in collective decision making. The Koch brothers are the largest funders of climate change denial. And ExxonMobil claims it has stopped, but it really hasn’t. It has given a quarter of a billion dollars in donations to climate denial groups. It’s clear they are trying to cripple our ability to respond to this existential threat.”

One of Trump’s first acts after his inauguration was to remove all mentions of climate change from federal websites. More overlooked is that one of Theresa May’s first actions on becoming prime minister – within 24 hours of taking office – was to close the Department for Energy and Climate Change; subsequently donations from oil and gas companies to the Conservative party continued to roll in. And what is increasingly apparent is that the same think tanks that operate in the States are also at work in Britain, and climate change denial operates as a bridgehead: uniting the right and providing an entry route for other tenets of Alt-Right belief. And, it’s this network of power that Gore has had to try to understand, in order to find a way to combat it……

what becomes clear if you Google “climate change” is how effective the right has been in owning the subject. YouTube’s results are dominated by nothing but climate change denial videos. This isn’t news for Gore. ….. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/30/al-gore-interview-our-crumbling-planet-the-rich-have-subverted-all-reason-al-gore

 

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August 2, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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