Former Vice President Al Gore, a strong advocate for environmental conservation and climate action, recently shared his optimism about humanity’s capacity to fix the environmental damage leading to global warming. Here’s the full story.

We Can Reclaim Control of Our Destiny

In an extensive interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” special episode titled “A Climate Warning,” Gore explored the pressing need for grassroots pressure as a pivotal element in curbing climate change in 2024.

Gore, who ran for the White House as the Democratic nominee in 2000 and later founded the Climate Reality Project in 2005, shared the urgency of the climate crisis. Despite the daunting challenges, Gore believes that stopping climate change is within reach if there is sufficient political will, and courage.

Gore said, “The good news is we can reclaim control of our destiny. We can do this if we just overcome the greed and political power of the big fossil fuel polluters who have been trying to control this process. It’s time for people at the grassroots level in every country to speak up, and the good news is, that’s happening too. “

Grassroots Pressure

During the interview, Gore quoted Jean-Claude Juncker, the former president of the European Commission, who once said, “We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to be reelected if we do it.”

Grassroots pressure, according to Gore, becomes the linchpin in overcoming this political paradox. He added, “Well, this is why grassroots pressure — from people who understand how high the stakes are — is the crucial element.”

The former vice president acknowledged the dire nature of the climate crisis, referencing record-setting temperatures, devastating floods, catastrophic wildfires, and powerful storms. However, he maintained an optimistic stance, pointing to the power of collective action and the possibility of controlling our environmental destiny.

He shared the importance of individuals at the local level in every country speaking up and challenging the fossil fuel industry’s blockade.

The Solutions for Climate Change

Gore also questioned the United Nations Conference of Parties process, calling for reforms in its approach to achieving a unanimous consensus. He stressed the significance of a leader in the COP process without direct conflicts of interest.

He urged the audience to recognize the power of tangible solutions available, such as solar power. According to Gore, these solutions are practical and achievable, provided there is a concerted effort to overcome the influence of big fossil fuel polluters.

Gore made it clear that people still have to choose the right course and follow it to fix the planet or face the consequences.

“If we don’t take action, there could be as many as one billion climate refugees crossing international borders in the next several decades. Well, a few million have contributed to this wave of populist authoritarianism and dictatorships and so forth. What would one billion do? We can’t do this. We could lose our capacity for self-governance,” he added.

The Government Should Develop Climate Policies

Gore referred to a recent CNN poll indicating that 73 percent of U.S. adults believe the federal government should develop climate policies with the goal of cutting the country’s warming pollution in half by the end of the decade.

The interview touched upon the entrenched influence of the fossil fuel industry, with Gore highlighting the need to break its political power.

“We just have to break the political power that the fossil fuel industry exerted with its fixers and its lobbyists and its bags of money and its revolving-door colleagues,” Gore said.

While discussing the daunting effects of climate change, including heatwaves, floods, and storms, CNN anchor Jake Tapper queried Gore about his expectations for 2024.

The Message of Hope

Gore’s response carried a message of hope, saying that achieving “true net zero” –where no additional greenhouse gas pollutants are added to the atmosphere –can halt the rise in temperatures. However, Gore cautioned that this goal hinges on overcoming the greed and political power of major fossil fuel polluters.

So what do you think? How can individuals contribute to grassroots pressure for climate action in their communities, and what steps do you believe are important in overcoming the influence of fossil fuel industries?