Senate Foreign Relations Committee with Al Gore Part 1

As I promised in the last podcast, I am posting the entire Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Climate Change/Global Warming with Al Gore, John Kerry, Russ Feingold, and many others. The star was Al Gore and his expertise on climate change and how to deal with it. This is a must-listen committee hearing for anyone interested in how we are going to deal with climate change. They not only hear a presentation about how bad things are with our climate, but concrete ways to deal with it. In fact, in the last half hour al Gore really discusses some solid plans and solutions and puts forth what can be done. It’s probably the most useful and politically practical thing I’ve heard so far, and it’s good to hear something so positive and optimistic about climate change solutions.

But first, Gore covers some frightening facts. Here are two of the low-quality graphics I was able to grab off the CSPAN screen:

populationdisplacedbysealevelrise With no ice, the sun's heat is absorbed directly by the oceans
Hundreds of thousands of people will be displaced by rising sea level if climate change is not reversed. In the second picture, it shows how the sun’s rays, which would normally bounce off ice, are now absorbed by the ocean when the ice is missing.

Part 1 is below, and Part 2 is in the next post. This is the hearing in its entirety, minus a couple of minutes at the beginning where chairman Senator John Kerry was intoning his introductions and thank-you’s. But for all Kerry’s previous dronations, his speech this time is very interesting throughout, as is the whole hearing. I think it’s the only senate hearing I’ve listened to in its entirety and not been bored one second.

From John Kerry’s opening words:

“Climate change will be increasingly central to our foreign policy and our national security, and it will be a focal point of this committee’s efforts as well. We’re here today for the same reason our top military leaders and intelligence officials have been sounding the alarms. They describe climate change as a threat multiplier. and their warning that the cost of ignoring this issue will be more famine, more drought, more widespread pandemics, more natural disasters, more resource scarcity, and human displacement on a massive scale. In other words, our military leaders predict more of the very drivers that exacerbate conflict world-wide, and create failed states, which as we all know too well, present glaring targets of opportunity for the worst actors in our international system. That endangers all of us. Marine Corp General Andrew Zinni, former Commander of our forces in the Middle East, says that without action, and I quote, ” we will pay the price later in military terms and that will involve human lives. There will be a human toll. More immediately, as the new administration sets a new tone with the global community, this issue will be an early test of our ability to exert thoughtful, forceful diplomatic and moral leadership on any future challenge that the world faces. “

Here is Part 1