Gore blogged on Friday that concentrations of carbon dioxide hit 400 parts per million in the Earth’s atmosphere, a warning that if Americans don’t change there will be dire consequences.
“Now more than ever before, we are reaping the consequences of our recklessness,” Gore wrote. “From Superstorm Sandy, which crippled New York City and large areas of New Jersey, to a drought, which parched more than half of our nation; from a flood that inundated large swaths of Australia, to rising seas affecting millions around the world -- the reality of the climate crisis is upon us.”
He said things are bad and could get worse:
“Our food systems, our cities, our people and our very way of life developed within a stable range of climatic conditions on Earth,” he said. “Without immediate and decisive action, these favorable conditions on Earth could become a memory if we continue to make the climate crisis worse day after day after day.”
Gore said “we have been recklessly polluting” the earth for the last 150 years, “especially over the last several decades.”
However, Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the internationally accepted authority on climate change, acknowledged in February that there has been a “17 year pause” in global warming.
Gore’s remarks came just days before Central New York could see a record low temperature on Monday night, when temperatures are expected to dip into the high 20s. Frost and freeze warnings are across the Northeast.
Gore said he is “optimistic” that America can meet what he calls the great challenge of global warming, and he called for communities, businesses, universities and governments to “work in harmony to stop the climate crisis.”
“We must summon the very best of the human spirit and draw on our courage, our ingenuity, our intellect, and our determination to confront this crisis,” he said. “Make no mistake, this crisis will demand no less than our very best. I am optimistic because we have risen to meet the greatest challenges of our past.”
“So please, take this day and the milestone it represents to reflect on the fragility of our civilization and the planetary ecosystem on which it depends,” Gore concluded.
“We must take immediate action to solve this crisis,” he said. “Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year. Now.”