GORE PLANS TO INITIATE A GRASSROOTS CARBON FREEZE MOVEMENT

posted Monday, December 11, 2006        

GORE PLANS TO INITIATE A GRASS-ROOTS ‘CARBON FREEZE’ MOVEMENT
By Eric Auchard
Reuters
December 10, 2006

[ See original article ]
BERKELEY, Calif. – Al Gore plans to start a grass-roots political movement
next month to seek a “freeze” on carbon emissions that scientists say are to
blame for global warming.

The former vice president’s campaign is modeled after the nuclear freeze
movement of the 1980s. Gore said he planned to enlist groups ranging from
entrepreneurs and activists to political leaders to push for stronger
policies to limit the growth of greenhouse gases.

“I think we need a ‘carbon freeze,’ ” Gore told policy and business leaders
Friday at a conference organized by a venture capital firm. “I intend to
launch an ongoing campaign of mass persuasion at the beginning of 2007.”

Gore said the grass-roots campaign would put heat on leaders in Washington
to come up with more sophisticated policies to address global climate
change.

“I think we need a mass movement in the United States. I think it ought to
start at the grass roots,” said Gore, author of the book, “An Inconvenient
Truth,” which was made into a hit documentary film on global warming.

Gore said the power of the freeze demand is that it can operate at every
level of society — individuals can take steps to cut their use of
nonrenewable energies, and so can businesses and local and state
governments.

As a senator and arms control specialist, Gore had opposed the nuclear
freeze movement two decades ago because he thought it was “naive and
simplistic.”

He said he has since recognized its impact on political leaders.

Gore was appearing at a two-day, closed meeting of a group called the
Greentech Innovation Network organized by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and
Byers, Silicon Valley’s most powerful venture capital firm.

The group, credited with helping to persuade Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
to sign into law a model carbon emissions cap in September, is made up of
environmental entrepreneurs, policymakers, and academics.

John Denniston, a Kleiner Perkins partner, told reporters that his firm,
which has pledged to invest $200 million to fund green technology start-ups,
is prepared to help finance Gore’s political efforts.

Gore spoke on a panel that included Andy Karsner, US assistant secretary for
renewable energy.

Karsner said he agrees with Gore’s call to make environmental issues a moral
imperative, but said the righteous tone of such advocacy was
counterproductive.

“In fact, what we lack in abundance is the ability to listen to one another
and engage in civic discourse,” the Bush administration official said.



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