Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore delivered a state-of-the-planet address to an audience of 200 science and biotech VIPs on Dec. 3 at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He was invited to speak by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, which organized the event titled “Solving Our Climate Crisis.”
As you might expect, the news in the 13 years since “An Inconvenient Truth,” the Oscar-winning documentary about Gore’s environmental campaigning, has not gotten better.
As Gore pointed out during a slideshow, 152 million tons of carbon dioxide and other pollutants now spew into the atmosphere every day — “faster than at any time since the dinosaurs were wiped out by that asteroid that hit the Yucatan 66 million years ago,” he said.
Because of this pollution, Gore said, the planet is now “out of whack.” This is why, in the last 30 years, San Diego County’s average temperature has gone up 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit and is projected to rise 3 more degrees in the next 30 years, Gore said, adding that every 1 degree increase at the equator causes a 3 degree increase at the poles.
It’s why the frequency and intensity of California wildfires, East Coast hurricanes and African droughts are increasing, and why the sea level in La Jolla is projected to rise 11 inches by 2050. It’s also why almost all the Earth’s glaciers have begun melting, and why the future of all agriculture is gravely in danger.
“We’ve got to stop this,” Gore stated emphatically.
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