By Matt Nauman | Mercury News
Al Gore said in San Jose on Saturday that the climate crisis deserves the same type of attention and money from Washington that the financial meltdown is getting.
“Instead of a focus only on a bailout, we need to bail in renewable energy,” Gore said during a 50-minute speech at the Civic Auditorium.
Gore, who turned 60 this year, was a three-term U.S. senator from Tennessee, vice president for eight years and narrowly lost the 2000 presidential election to George Bush. But it was his move toward environmentalism, symbolized by his starring role in the 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and his subsequent Nobel Peace Prize that turned him into an international crusader against global warming.
That’s what brought him to San Jose on Saturday, as the keynote speaker for the three-day West Coast Green conference. It included presentations on a variety of green-living topics, plus an exhibit hall of green-building products.
Wearing a navy suit, but no tie, Gore came across as part science teacher, part economist and part environmental evangelist. His remarks, which included a funny story or two and mentions of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, drew frequent applause and a few standing ovations.
Indeed, the speech had something of a rock concert feel. Loud music played before the event started. Many in the casually dressed crowd of about 2,000 took cell-phone photos once Gore walked onto the stage. And his comments about the dangers of climate change, its impact on the world, and how it might be solved, sounded like Gore’s greatest hits.
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