"Misinformation" campaigns directed by big industrial polluters are a key enabling factor behind the "dirty weather" currently being attributed to climate change, former Vice President Al Gore said Sunday in a special announcement.
Gore said his climate action group, the Climate Reality Project, would kick off its second annual "24 Hours of Climate Reality" on Nov. 14. Last year's event featured speakers in every time zone around the world "connecting the dots" between weather-related events and climate change, in an effort to "set the record straight." The group said that about 8 million people watched in 2011, but they're shooting for an even bigger audience this year by focusing on more direct participation from around the globe and greater emphasis on social media interactions.
"We face a global crisis of unprecedented proportions," Gore said in filmed remarks to the Social Good Summit in New York City this weekend. "We are dumping 90 million tons of heat-trapping carbon pollution into the atmosphere every 24-hours, and it is altering our climate. Now we find ourselves living in what scientists call a 'new normal' of more extreme weather that's happening all over the world with increasing frequency. And the results -- fire, flood, drought, crop and livestock devastation, refugees, just to mention a few -- impact everyone, everywhere. But like all crisis, this one includes opportunity as well as danger."
Gore said the Climate Reality Project's nest 24-hours event would highlight what he called "dirty weather" driven by climate change. "The weather we're experiencing now is just that: dirty," he said. "It's fueled by dirty fossil fuel energy and misinformation. This crisis has to be understood in order to be stopped. The misinformation includes messaging that it's not happening, that we can't solve it, that we can't afford to act. However, with your help and the full force of our 21st century technology and media, we can stop the misinformation and the dirty weather, and we can solve the climate crisis."
The former vice president was the subject of the 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," which warned of severe weather and savage human conflicts driven by climate change, mass migrations and resource scarcity. Those claims were bolstered in 2012 by research from the Australian government and NASA, which linked recent severe droughts in Australia, Texas, Oklahoma, Europe and the Middle East to changes in the atmosphere driven by human industrial activity. Anti-poverty group Oxfam warned recently that droughts tend to inflate food prices, which has the unwanted side-effect of inflaming poverty and social unrest.
NASA scientist James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, warned recently that if humanity does not make drastic changes to address climate change in the coming years, between 20-50 percent of the species on Earth could go extinct by the end of this century.
This video was broadcast to the Social Good Summit in New York City on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012.
Photo: Stocklight / Shutterstock.com