Former vice president of the United States and founder of the Climate Reality Project Al Gore conducted an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) on Reddit today, answering questions about climate change, the Internet, and nuclear energy. The subreddit has become an increasingly popular stop for politicians, writers, musicians — anybody with something to publicize.
By all accounts, Gore’s AMA was a great success, charming Reddit’s largely progressive audience with his aggressive stance on issues close to the site’s collective heart and supplying not a few deft witticisms in response to less serious queries. If he can’t be president of the United States, maybe he can be president of the Internet.
Gore on the undeniable reality of climate change:
There are at least 15 deeply researched separate lines of evidence that all confirm man-made global warming. They are all consistent, each with the others. Every National Academy of Science on the planet agrees with the consensus. The Academies describe the evidence as “indisputable”. Every professional scientific society in every field related to climate science and earth science also agree. And 97-98% of climate scientists worldwide most actively publishing also agree. Animals and plants also agree — in that they are moving their ranges by latitude and altitude to find climate niches similar to the ones in which they evolved. Even if you leave climate science completely out of it and just measure extreme temperatures, the statistical record of global temperatures shows that three-standard deviation events have increased from 0.25% of the time (from 1951-1980) to 10% of the time now. There is as strong a consensus as you will find in science, with the possible exception of the existence of gravity.
On the need to reassess the nature of the relationship between the Internet and the American government:
Our national information infrastructure is no longer competitive. We need to invest in more bandwidth, easier access, and the rapid transition of our democratic institutions to the internet. And we need to protect the freedom of the internet against corporate control by legacy businesses that see it as a threat, and against the obscene invasions of privacy and threats to security from government and corporations alike. Please think about this: almost everytime there has been a choice between privacy/security on the one hand and convenience on the other, the mass of folks have chosen convenience. I for one believe the “stalker economy” on the internet is undemocratic and anti- American. Are folks at the gag point on this yet? Thanks, btw, to the Reddit community for fighting off Sopa and PIPA. Keep your powder dry; more big struggles ahead.
The former vice president didn’t shy away from the hard-hitting questions, either. “You’re only one Tony award away from an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony),” Wellvis asks. “What plans do you have in that regard?” Said Gore, “I’ve got my eyes on the Heisman.”
Kiwiluver85 quipped, “If you made an music album, could you please name it Algorithms?”
In response, Gore linked to this video: