From Davos, Gore Says "Changing Light Bulbs" Not Enough

By January 29, 2008

“In addition to changing the light bulbs, it is far more important to change the laws and to change the treaty obligations that nations have,” Right,Al Gore. former Vice President of the United States, today known as an e

nvironmental activist

“Whoever is elected is going to have a different position and a better position. But let’s be clear: whoever the leaders are, this issue is going to be dealt with responsibly and effectively only when there is a sufficient degree of urgency on the part of the people themselves.”

These two statements from Al Gore were made in the context of world market turmoil and the impact it has had on the content of the Davos discussions, shifting the attention away from global warming.

In an earlier article, I shared Michael’s Oppenheimer’s concern for that very issue, what Elke Weber calls the limited worry pool. The real danger is that world leaders and their people get distracted from the urgency of the climate fight, by an ongoing flow of crisis, as is the case currently with the financial markets. Tomorrow it could be a war, or a terrorist attack, . . .

This reminds me of this family I saw years ago as a therapist. One of the children had been killed by the boyfriend’s mother, and she had gone on with her life trying not to burden the other siblings with her grief. The big issue in the family was the message she had sent to the other children, that she did not seem to value the life of their dead sibling, and hence their own lives. Every week the family came, and presented with yet another crisis, that ‘could not be ignored’. In the mean time, nothing changed and the family became increasingly at risk of disintegration. Not until I realized what was really going on, and I stopped reacting to each weekly crisis did we start the real work. Same thing with global warming. World leaders need to realize that there will always be a new crisis. However, the one crisis that supersedes all others is global warming. Nature cannot wait. Markets will return to normal. Wars will end. The damage that’s being caused to our living ecosystem is on its way to being irreversible.

By lamarguerite, a valued contributor

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