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More headlines: Al Gore on Environment

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Kinship with Rachel Carson on environment

Al Gore visited the origins of the nation’s modern environmental movement Saturday, hoping to ease concern among critics that he has lost his fervor for protecting the air and water. “For my entire life, I have been committed to safeguarding our air and land and the earth itself. Those who deny global warming are flat-out wrong. Rachel Carson left us her legacy. A long time ago I joined in the spirit of Rachel Carson.”
Source: AP story in NY Times Aug 12, 2000

Vow to protect environment from special interests

We’re going to fight to beat back the rogue special interests who want to mine and drill and clear-cut our national heritage into oblivion. We’re not going to let them do it. This Earth is not in a liquidation sale, America is going to lead the new way toward a new day of hope and health for all of our people.
Source: CNN.com Jul 24, 2000

Welcomes criticism as “too environmental”

After Earth in the Balance was published, I had a personal encounter with that verse from the Bible, “Would that mine adversary had written a book.” Adversaries, some of whom I suspect haven’t read it, love to hate this book and attack it as “too environmental.”
I welcome that. I believe the environment should be a central issue in the year 2000, because, like it or not, the environment will be a fateful issue in the next decade and the new century.
In the 8 years since the first edition of this book, we have made some real progress. We’re cleaning up the great American rivers. We’ve strengthened the Superfund to clean up hazardous chemical waste sites. We refused, despite all the special-interest lobbying of Congress, to let up on big polluters who have a responsibility to clean up hidden poisons in our neighborhoods and on land where our children play.
Source: New foreword to Earth in the Balance, p. x Apr 23, 2000

Make next ten years an “Environment Decade”

Source: Press Release Apr 22, 2000

Co-sponsored first Superfund bill, on Love Canal

In 1978 chemicals from an abandoned underground dump seethed into basements and backyards in he Love Canal neighborhood in upstate New York, [causing] an abnormal number of miscarriages and birth defects. [Gore’s father was a board member of its corporate owner]. Gore considered recusing himself but decided that the issue was too important. Later that year he co-sponsored passage of the first Superfund bill, mandating a joint public-private effort to clean up the sites.
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.137 Mar 3, 2000

Environmental clean-up benefits health

Global warming is a real problem. Air pollution is a real problem. Water pollution is a real problem. We’ve got to clean up the toxic waste sites. A president who is committed to cleaning up the environment and fighting for all of the families that now suffer with asthma or other health problems because of the dirty environment - a president can make a huge difference.
Source: Democrat Debate at Dartmouth College Oct 28, 1999

Maintain standards for clean air and water

The Clinton-Gore administration has enacted strong new clean air standards for soot and smog that will prevent up to 15,000 premature deaths a year; new measures to protect drinking water; aggressive toxic waste clean-ups; and new steps to give communities more information about chemicals released into their air and water. In addition, Vice President Gore fought Congressional attempts to weaken more than 25 years of critical environmental and public health protections.
Source: www.AlGore2000.com/issues/environ.html 5/15/99 May 15, 1999

Reduced paperwork for environmental compliance

Al Gore believes it is essential to protect the environment in ways that also create jobs and protect economic growth -- by working closely with industry in a spirit of collaboration, not conflict. Through his Reinventing Government initiative, Al Gore has eliminated more than 25 million hours of paperwork a year for businesses and communities seeking to comply with environmental regulations. That is the equivalent of more than half a million work weeks.
Source: www.AlGore2000.com/issues/environ.html 5/15/99 May 15, 1999

Stands by content of “Earth in the Balance”

Gore wrote Earth in the Balance,, [which includes] stirring phrases-“We must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization”-and bold prescriptions, like eliminating the internal combustion engine in 25 years. Although it was published well before Clinton plucked him from the Senate, Gore doesn’t distance himself from his book, saying, “There’s not a statement in that book that I don’t endorse. The evidence has firmed up the positions I sketched there.”
Source: Time Magazine, p. 65-67 Apr 26, 1999

Our beaches mirror the degradation of the environment

Needles, dead dolphins, and oil-soaked birds - are all these signs that the sores of our familiar world are fast eroding, that we are now standing on some new beach, facing dangers beyond the edge of what we are capable of imagining?
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 21 Jul 2, 1993

Half of all American waters are polluted

Despite the progress made in the industrial world, many problems remain, from high concentrations of lead in drinking water, to the common practice in most older cities of mixing waste water with drainage runoff whenever it rains heavily, forcing a bypass of sewage treatment facilities; the rainwater and sewage are then dumped, untreated, into creeks, rivers, and the ocean. Almost half of all American rivers, lakes, and creeks are damaged or threatened by water pollution
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 109 Jul 2, 1993

Americans generate too much waste

The American people have become embroiled in debates about the relative merits of various waste disposal schemes. Now, we must confront a strategic threat to our capacity to dispose of - or even recycle - the enormous quantities of waste being produced. there is only one way out: we have to change our production processes and dramatically reduce the amount of waste we create in the first place and ensure that we consider just how we intend to recycle or isolate that which unavoidably remains.
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 145-146 Jul 2, 1993

Industrialism has led to tremendous waste and pollution

The waste crisis is integrally related to the crisis of industrial civilization as a whole. Just as our internal combustion engines have automated the process by which our lungs transform oxygen into carbon dioxide, our industrial apparatus has vastly magnified the process by which our digestive system transforms raw material into human energy and growth - and waste.
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 147 Jul 2, 1993

In the U.S., chemicals constitute most hazardous waste

The amount of chemical waste dumped into landfills, lakes, rivers, and oceans is staggering. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 650,000 commercial and industrial sources of hazardous waste: two thirds of all hazardous waste comes from chemical manufacturing and almost one quarter from the production of metals and machinery.
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 148 Jul 2, 1993

Environmentalism can only thrive where democracy thrives

Men and women must be politically empowered to help effect remedies to ecological problems. As the dramatic environmental problems in Eastern Europe show, freedom is a necessary condition for an effective stewardship of the environment. Almost wherever people at the grass-roots level are deprived of a voice in the decisions that affect their lives, they and the environment suffer. I have come to believe that an essential prerequisite for saving the environment is the spread of democratic government.
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 179 Jul 2, 1993

Economics does not account for the cost of consumption

Every time we consume something, some sort of waste is created, but this fact is conveniently forgotten by classical economists. When we consume millions of tons of CFCs each year, are they gone? If so, then what is eating the hole in the ozone layer? When we consume 14 million tons of coal each day and 64 million barrels of oil, are they gone? If so, where is al the extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere coming from?
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 187 Jul 2, 1993

The world must unite to save the environment

The world is once again at a critical juncture. We are invading ourselves and attacking the ecological system of which we are a part. As a result, we now face the prospect of a kind of global civil war between those who refuse to consider the consequences of civilization’s relentless advance and those who refuse to be silent partners in the destruction. The time has come to make this struggle the central organizing principle of world civilization.
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 294 Jul 2, 1993

Every individual should take responsibility for the earth

This crisis will be resolved only if individuals take some responsibility for it. By education ourselves and others, by doing our part to minimize our use and waste of resources, by becoming more active politically and demanding change. each one of us can make a difference. Perhaps more important, we each need to assess our own relationship to the natural world and renew. a connection to it.
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 366 Jul 2, 1993

A balance between civilization and the earth is needed

The key is indeed balance - balance between contemplation and action, individual concerns and commitment to the community, love for the natural world and love for our wondrous civilization. I hope and trust we will all find a way to resist the accumulated momentum of all the habits, patterns, and distractions that divert us from what is true and honest, spinning us first this way and that.
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 367 Jul 2, 1993

America is not responding to environmental danger signals

Even though it is sometimes hard to see their meaning, we have by now all witnessed surprising experiences that signal the damage from our assault on the environment - whether it’s the new frequency of days when the temperature exceeds 100 degrees, the new speed with which the sun burns out skin, or the new constancy of public debate over what to do with growing mountains of waste. But our response to these signals is puzzling. Why haven’t we launched a massive effort to save our environment?
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 27 Jul 2, 1993

American ingenuity to protect environmental stability

We will summon all the ingenuity, all the innovation, all the skills and creativity of our country to protect a national asset: a clean, healthy environment. And we have to protect one of the most precious of all our treasures: the stable seasons God gave us. Together we will build new, modern, and clean energy, industrial and transportation systems. Through the power of free markets, through good old-fashioned American ingenuity, we will dramatically reduce pollution while creating more jobs.
Source: Policy Paper, “The National Energy Trust Fund” Jun 27, 2000

Supports brownfield cleanup; says Bush did not in Texas

Gore has supported “brownfields” initiatives, both as a candidate and as vice president, [to clean up abandoned industrial sites. In response to Bush’s brownfields proposal], Gore’s campaign noted That texas slashed its budget for cleanup of hazardous waste by half--from $44 million to $22 million--from 1997 to 1998.
Texas’s abysmal ranking as one of the worst states for air and water pollution has long been a source of ammunition for Bush’s political foes.
Source: Washington Post, p. A6 Apr 4, 2000

Helped protect national forests, parks, and rivers

The Clinton-Gore Administration’s accomplishments include: protecting red rock canyon lands and California redwood forests; an agreement to protect Yellowstone National Park from mining and toxic runoff; a bold, $1.5 billion plan to help restore the Everglades; the American Heritage Rivers initiative; and the creation and improvement of nearly 120 national parks, trails, rivers, and historical sites.
Source: www.AlGore2000.com/issues/environ.html 5/15/99 May 15, 1999

Tax credits for efficient vehicles and homes, green towns

Source: Press Release “New Gore Energy Policy” Jun 28, 2000

Replacing internal combustion is possible & will create jobs

I was criticized for suggesting in this book that we should move away from the internal combustion engine over the next quarter-century. The attack was never more than smoke and fumes; I was calling not for an end to the car industry but for new types of cars. Now the automakers themselves are investing heavily in alternatives to internal combustion; they are acknowledging that fuel cells and other environmentally preferable alternatives are key to future competitive success, at home and overseas.

For those who want to attack my view, let me save you the trouble of reading the entire book. On pages 325-6, I wrote, “It ought to be possible to establish a coordinated global program to accomplish the strategic goal of completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a 25-year period.” It is possible; it needs to be done; it will create more jobs, not destroy jobs. I’m proud that I wrote those words in 1992, and I reaffirm them today.

Source: New foreword to Earth in the Balance, p. xviii & xxiv Apr 23, 2000

$10 billion for mass transit and open spaces.

With the Vice President at the fore, the Clinton Administration has proposed a $10 billion “livability agenda” that would provide mass transit subsidies and tax credits to support bonding authority for protecting farmland and cleaning up abandoned industrial space.
Source: New York Times, 5/4/99, p. A18, col. 1 May 4, 1999

Internal combustion engines interfere with earth’s cleansing

When we seek to artificially enhance our capacity to acquire what we need from the earth, we do so at the direct expense of the earth’s ability to provide naturally what we are seeking. We frequently ignore the impact of our technological alchemy on natural processes. When we manufacture millions of internal combustion engines and automate the conversion of oxygen to CO2, we interfere with the earth’s ability to cleanse itself of the impurities that are normally removed from the atmosphere.
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 207 Jul 2, 1993

Other candidates on Environment: Al Gore on other issues:
Former Presidents:
George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Former Contenders:
V.P.Al Gore
Pat Buchanan
V.P.Dick Cheney
Sen.Bob Dole
Ralph Nader
Gov.Sarah Palin

Political Thinkers:
Noam Chomsky
Milton Friedman
Arianna Huffington
Rush Limbaugh
Tea Party
Ayn Rand
Secy.Robert Reich
Donald Trump
Gov.Jesse Ventura
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

Page last updated: Jul 05, 2014