I’ve been going through a huge stack of old articles and notes and came across an op-ed written by Al Gore and published in The New York Times (“Moving Beyond Kyoto,” Jul. 1, 2007). It focuses on the issue of global warming and states that mankind is dumping “70 million tons of CO2 every 24 hours into the Earth’s atmosphere.” Currently, in 2014, it’s getting very close to 100 million tons per day; as a link on my Links page illustrates.
On the Read This First! page, I explain why I use the phrase “saving the planet” as my all-encompassing mission statement; and I also explain what is imperfect about that phrasing as the planet itself is not in jeopardy, it will continue orbiting the sun whether we render it incapable of further supporting human life or not.
Gore makes this point himself in the op-ed: “Our home — Earth — is in danger. What is at risk of being destroyed is not the planet itself, but the conditions that have made it hospitable for human beings.” He states that we should heed the warning of many scientists “that we are moving closer to several ‘tipping points’ that could, within 10 years, make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet’s habitability for human civilization.”
Incidentally, while I do think that Gore is far ahead of many people (in certain respects) regarding “saving the planet,” I do see his particular vision as falling far short of where we need to be going in terms of getting us on the right path and moving in the right direction.