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Al and Tipper Gore Separate


After 40 years of marriage, former high school sweethearts Al and Tipper Gore are calling it quits.

According to the Associated Press, the An Inconvenient Truth author and his wife said that the split is “a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration.”

Al Gore and Tipper met in 1965 at a high school dance. They married in 1970 and supported each other during Al’s political career when he was a congressman as well as Vice President of the U.S.  Tipper served as Al’s guide and political advisor throughout his career, which included his famous Nobel Peace Prize win.

The couple, who have four grown children, sent the news in an email to friends and supporters. Gore, 61, and his wife, 62, gave no details as to why they were parting ways.

“We are announcing today that after a great deal of thought and discussion, we have decided to separate,” the email said. “This is very much a mutual and mutually supportive decision that we have made together following a process of long and careful consideration.”

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Al Gore to Promote “Our Choice” on Letterman


Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore will be appearing on David Letterman to talk about his new book, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis.

The book written as a follow-up to his 2006 book “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“An Inconvenient Truth” was written to draw attention to the massive environmental problems our planet faces whereas “Choice” explores the solutions to repair the damage we have done.

“[This book] is meant to depoliticize the issue as much as possible and inspire readers to take action—not only on an individual basis but as participants in the political processes by which every country, and the world as a whole, makes the choice that now confronts us,” Gore writes in the forward.

Gore will appear on Letterman next Tuesday night. “Our Choice” hits bookstores November 3rd.

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Google Earth Releases Climate Change Mapping Program


Google Earth has unveiled a crystal-ball like feature that will predict what planet will look like up to the year 2100. Using data provided by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Google has created a new 3D mapping program that will show the range of expected climate change under different global emissions scenarios that could occur throughout the century.

Narrated by Al Gore, Google will also add layers showing what communities around the world are doing to combat climate change.

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The Staying Power of Sustainability


From a worldwide concert, to a motion picture, it seems that everywhere you look Al Gore is urging people to decrease their carbon footprint. With the latest elections it seems that Al Gore isn’t the only one who is discussing this topic, but does it have the staying power to actually have an impact on our everyday lives?

From the hippies of the 60′s, to the liberal colleges of the 90′s, to the youth of today, there is a growing concern about the stresses that our fossil fuel use is having on the environment. With the rise in the price of gasoline, the market for hybrid cars has taken the country by surprise. What was once thought of as a gimmick is slowly being accepted as normal.

The fact that people are starting to drive hybrids does not necessarily mean that people are putting the environment first. Being “Green” is an expensive and sometimes inconvenient title to have. So what is the solution to making sustainability more than just a hot button topic to those that don’t really care? Some people are finding that the solution is to affect them in areas where they do care – their wallet.

While the rise in gasoline has made the change to hybrid cars an appealing one, it still is in the hands of the consumer to decide whether or not they want to make the change. One solution to the growing concern with the abundance of plastic bags is to ban them in certain cities. This will force consumers to buy reusable bags or shop at a different store. While some people might find this to be a bit dramatic, Ireland has gone even further. In 2003 they introduced a fee of approximately 29 cents for each plastic bag that a shopper uses. Shoppers who do not want to fork out the extra money stop using the bags. This one act reduced Ireland’s bag consumption by 90 percent. This may be the type of action that is needed for the United States to put their best green foot forward.

While all the buzz surrounding sustainability is likely to only grow, there is no magic bullet that will suddenly make our emissions problems go away. The only way that there will be a paradigm shift is if these green issues affect people on a personal and financial level.  Now that the election has drawn to a close, we will see if maybe real environmental change will come to Washington not seen since Solar Panels graced the White House during Jimmy Carter’s term.

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Rising Sea Levels the “Greatest Lie Ever Told”?


Christopher Booker recently wrote an article for the Telegraph in which he interviews Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner about his criticisms of Al Gore’s estimates on the rising sea levels.

Mörner claims that Gore is simply fear-mongering and is basing all his estimates on “deliberate ignorance and reliance on rigged computer models.” Mörner’s research, suggests that sea levels haven’t risen in 50 years and will only marginally rise, if at all, in the next 100. He claims his predictions are accurate since they are based on field research.

Booker also makes his bias on the issue quite plain by introducing Mörner as “one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world.”

Mörner, however,  is best known for two things: being a regular detractor of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and water witching.

You read that correctly. Now I hate the ad hominem fallacy but I don’t have time or access to make going through Mörner’s research a possibility, so I may have to make an exception here. The man believes he can find underground streams with a magic wand! So I’m going to have to go ahead and take his “research” with a giant sack of salt.

For those of you who want to defend it, let’s just put it this way, if you can prove your ability to find water with a wand then you can earn $1,000,000. If you know of someone who can do it you can earn a $50,000 finder’s fee. Obviously the reason this hasn’t been collected, or even attempted to be collected, is that it simply doesn’t work.

I am curious if Mörner even accepts that the ice caps are melting at an alarming rate?

It is truly unfortunate that the battle lines are drawn in environmental issues like this. Instead of a search for truth, sides, attack a position with the idea in mind that making it appear less credible will harm the “other side’s” position. If sea levels aren’t rising then maybe polar ice caps aren’t melting. If the ice isn’t melting than global warming must not be happening. If global warming isn’t happening then humans aren’t impacting the environment and it’s time to throw a giant petroleum party.

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Gore’s Book ‘Our Choice’ a Blueprint to Solve Climate Crisis


Al Gore is releasing a new book entitled Our Choice, which apparently “picks up” where an Inconvenient Truth left off. Gore hopes the new book will serve as a “blueprint” for the solution of our current climate conundrum.

“Now that the need for urgent action is even clearer with the alarming new findings of the last three years, it is time for a comprehensive global plan that actually solves the climate crisis. Our Choice will answer that call,” a press release from the publisher reads.

Gore said, “An Inconvenient Truth reached millions of people with the message that the climate crisis is threatening the future of human civilization and that it must and can be solved.”

Gore’s conclusions on how we are to effective combat climate change are based on more than 30 “Solutions Summits” he has held with scientists, engineers and policy experts, as well as independent research.

All profits from the book will go directly to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a non-profit, non-partisan group dedicated to spreading awareness about the climate crisis and how to solve it. The book will also be printed on 100% recycled paper, locally produced and sourced editions, low VOC inks, and will be carbon neutral.

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Al Gore Backing Environmental Web Domain .eco


Dot Eco LLC has partnered with Al Gore and The Alliance for Climate Protection to secure the .eco domain, donating the revenue to environmental charities and sciences. Dot Eco LLC will be applying for the .eco top level domain through the ICANN gTLD application process in late 2009 and we’ll soon start seeing URLs that just don’t end in .com, .org, .edu and .gov.

The .eco domain will be established for companies to promote their environmental initiatives, and for environmental organizations to maintain their websites in a more relevant namespace.

Al Gore said, “We fully support Dot Eco LLC in its efforts to secure the .eco top level domain through the ICANN application process and look forward to working with Dot Eco LLC to promote .eco. This is a truly exciting opportunity for the environmental movement and for the internet as a whole.”

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Al Gore Wins Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album


Al Gore scored a Grammy last night for Best Spoken Word Album for the audio book of An Inconvenient Truth, which is read by Beau Bridges, Cynthia Nixon and Blair Underwood. This Grammy is significant, as it places Gore among an elite group of nine people who have scored awards in each of the four entertainment award categories: Oscar, Tony, Emmy, and Grammy. His crowded mantle also boasts a Nobel Peace Prize. Now he’s just showing off.

Gore beat out fellow competitors, Stephen Colbert, who read from his own I Am America (And So Can You) as well as other read books by Sidney Poiter, Steve Martin and David Sedaris.

Gore’s documentary is still raking in the awards – however, the opera version of the power-point presentation isn’t fairing so well. La Scala opera house in Milan has been working the opera version of Al Gore’s documentary, slated to open in the 2011 season, but has had multiple issues. The director apparently walked off the stage recently due to “creative differences.”

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Drama on the Set of ‘An Inconvenient Truth: the Opera’


An Inconvenient Truth ain’t over, people. The Fat Lady is doing her warm-ups. What can only be sopranos singing about emissions, electric vehicles and birds with tar on their feathers, is an opera currently in pre-production that is now facing some adversity. La Scala opera house in Milan has been working the opera version of Al Gore’s documentary, slated to open in the 2011 season.

Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli is helming the project in hopes to draw more attention to the world’s environmental issues. Battistelli, who is the artistic director of Verona’s Arena Foundation, is a prolific composer of operas who has turned works by Shakespeare (Richard III), Jules Verne, Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) and Pasolini (Theorem) into operatic performances. For this production, Battistelli is teaming up with poet J.D. McClatchy and director William Friedkin.

However, Ecorazzi is reporting that there’s drama on the set! Friedkin recently quit the production, citing “creative differences.”  McClatchy claims that the reasons for Friedkin’s departure were personal and mocked Friedkin for wanting to use special effects, saying “opera isn’t Hollywood.”

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Stimulus Package Gives 54 Billion For Clean Energy


As part of the proposed $825 billion dollar stimulus package, House Democrats revealed the amount of money set aside for renewable energy and efficiency. That amount is about 54 billion of those dollars.

The largest portion, $11 billion, would go towards creating a smart grid, which is way short of the $400 billion Al Gore suggested as a reasonable figure. Here’s a list of some of the larger energy incentives.

* $11 billion for investment in smart-grid technologies
* $8 billion in loan guarantees for renewable energy and transmission
* $6.9 billion for energy efficiency help to state and local governments
* $6.7 billion for retrofits to federal buildings
* $6.2 billion for home weatherization, targeted at low-income families
* $2.4 billion for carbon sequestration
* $2 billion for loans guarantees and grants to automobile battery-makers

There are quite a few other energy-related items in the bill, including incentives for electric and alternative-fuel vehicles. The Appropriations Committee has a summary (PDF) of the bill on their website.

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