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Gore to Obama: “Stand on principle”

The former VP also discusses climate change and awards shows in his Reddit AMA.


Fernando Alfonso III


There have only been 11 people in history to ever win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award—which is best known as the acronym EGOT thanks to 30 Rock’s Tracy Jordan.

Most winners include actors and composers but if all goes according to plan, former Vice President Al Gore may need a list of his own.

“You’re only one Tony award away from an EGOT. What plans do you have in that regard?” redditor wellvis asked Gore in a Reddit AMA (“ask me anything”) Thursday.

“I’ve got my eyes on the Heisman,” Gore responded.

Gore is the latest high profile politician or celebrity to participate in Reddit’s popular question and answer forum. Since President Barack Obama made history with his AMA about six weeks ago, Reddit has hosted AMA’s with Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, actor Rainn Wilson, and comedian Rob Delaney.

During Gore’s AMA, redditors asked the 64-year-old about nuclear energy, global warming, and his now famous college roommate.

I understand you and Tommy Lee Jones were roomates in college. What was he like? (pagemansmith)

He is, first of all, a terrific friend. He really is an amazing guy. As good at directing as at acting, btw. Check out his performance in Spielberg’s Lincoln. Incredible! I hope he gets another Oscar for it. I’m biased, but I sure think he deserves it.

For people that may be skeptical about global warming, what is the one undeniable scientific fact that you feel backs it up the most effectively? (antiscian)

There are at least 15 deeply researched separate lines of evidence that all confirm man-made global warming. They are all consistent, each with the others. Every National Academy of Science on the planet agrees with the consensus. The Academies describe the evidence as “indisputable”. Every professional scientific society in every field related to climate science and earth science also agree. And 97-98% of climate scientists worldwide most actively publishing also agree. Animals and plants also agree — in that they are moving their ranges by latitude and altitude to find climate niches similar to the ones in which they evolved. Even if you leave climate science completely out of it and just measure extreme temperatures, the statistical record of global temperatures shows that three-standard deviation events have increased from 0.25% of the time (from 1951-1980) to 10% of the time now. There is as strong a consensus as you will find in science, with the possible exception of the existence of gravity.

Are you in favor of nuclear energy as a possible energy alternative for the future? (bignick5000)

It will play a role, but probably a limited role. I think the waste issue can probably be solved, and Fukushima notwithstanding, the safety of operation issue an pobably be solved. But the cost is absurdly high and still rising. Moreover, if we model it as the path forward, and encourage developing countries to head down that road, we would create a massive security challenge. During the eight years I worked in the White House, every single nuclear proliferation threat we had to deal with was connected to a reactor program. The technologies are different, but if you are the dictator of a country that has a reactor program and a fuel cycle, you can secretly orde the same people to enrich the fuel to weapons-grade over time and build bombs. Bad outcome. New reactor designs hold promise but they are all at least 15 years away. Meanwhile, solar pv is riding a “Moore’s Law Jr.” costdown curve. Wind and efficiency too, though not as steep. We need to get to scale on renewables quickly and make the transition.

As someone who was in office during another time of obstructionism and fierce party-line divides, what advice would you give President Obama to accomplish his objectives during his second term? What advice would you give to us, the public, in dealing with the harsh realities of the partisan divide? (Oogity_Boogity_Boo)

Stand on principle. As Mark Twain said, “Do the right thing! You’ll ratify your friends and astonish your enemies.” Start with climate.

Photo via Al Gore/Reddit

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