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Al Gore Calls For "Civil Disobedience" Against New Coal Plants

Al Gore Calls For "Civil Disobedience" Against New Coal Plants

At the fourth annual Clinton Global Initiative kicked off yesterday in New York City, Al Gore made a perhaps inconvenient call to action: civil disobedience. Gore, surrounded by Queen Raina, Clinton, and Bono painted a grim planetary picture:

This is a rout. We are losing badly. This is the result of a dysfunctional, insane global system pattern that we have to change.

Then his plan to gain ground on the climate crisis:

If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration.

To see what he means,


Currently 28 coal plants are under construction and another 20 more have been approved. The carbon capture he mentioned is a technology that keeps coal plant emissions out of the atmosphere by liquefying them and storing them in underground rock layers, long term. Capture doesn't exist yet in a commercial scale as the cost to implement it increases any project's budget by 50 percent.

Gore summed up his case against coal like this: “Clean coal is like healthy cigarettes — it does not exist.” Are you with Gore? Is it time for civil disobedience — or is calling for it an irresponsible act?


Join The Conversation
jerrydp jerrydp 8 years
Hey Al, why don't you drag your fat ass down here to Texas where we are constructing the cleanest and largest coal plant ever built. Tell the workers here who were sent home yesterday because someone called in a bomb threat about your call for civil disobedience. I have a relative in Washington state who works at an operating coal plant and they have had several bomb threats including one device they found that should have gone off but didn't, they were just lucky. How long before someone is killed?
z4t4 z4t4 8 years
AL has Millions invested in companies to push his ideas on this issue..I have always wanted to ask this question to someone that thinks Global Warming is real and killing us. MY question is this - Has anyone ever looked at one single death certificate, one toe tag from a morgue, one CIS report, ANYTHING..That shows the cause of death was Global Warming? Anyone? Be assured there will all sorts of statistics to support global warming. Just about as many as there are to show its a myth..
z4t4 z4t4 8 years
Being new to this board and clearly older I know I'm making myself a target but that's ok, I like a good fight. Here's something to think about: Big AL is suggesting you guys (Young people) go out there and make a lot of noise to get HIS point across. He's asking YOU to risk YOUR time and perhaps A police record AND getting in trouble.. So I'm hoping some of you are thinking - Whats he going to be doing? Exactly. These "people" always USE people for their cause..THINK before you act
stephley stephley 8 years
Anti-nuclear power groups have very detailed civil disobedience training programs that are as much about weeding out trouble makers as they are teaching people how to do it appropriately. Vandalism is discouraged as the groups know that is what will make the evening news and what people remember most. It also means higher bails and legal fees.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
It will depend on how they act in civil disobedience. I'm betting that these acts will be at least vandalism, or worse, in the name of saving the planet. When these acts happen, I hope they go after GOre for inciting said acts.
ForceChange ForceChange 8 years
Gore's underlying concern is right on. Hopefully his call for civil disobedience won't backfire by turning people who are on the fence off to his message.
stephley stephley 8 years
Gore's right, it's going to take something loud and unmistakeable to counteract the sales job we're getting.
tundrababe tundrababe 8 years
I just saw on CNN that tonight's presidential debate is sponsored by "clean burning coal". :-(
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Yeah, Dave. It's like ethanol.
stephley stephley 8 years
No, I'm saying that the technology they've developed is being misrepresented as offering something it does not.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
Are you saying the scientists don't know what they're doing steph?
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
I ride the bus, so blocking the roadways would prevent me from getting to work. But, in theory, I agree. It is time to take criminal action. I'm with stephley. We need clean, renewable energy. And it's our job to bully everyone else into making it happen.
stephley stephley 8 years
Because it isn't really clean and probably isn't inexpensive in the end.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
So, a group of scientists develop clean coal technology that is clean, and inexpensive, but we don't want to use it, why?
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
completely agree stephly. man i wish he was our president! :(
stephley stephley 8 years
There is a better way, and that's through honest business practices, honest governmental and bureacratic practices. When those fail, civil protest is reasonable. Today's protestors are well aware of how to make their case without violence - the people who resort to criminal behavior are few, but they're the ones who get the most t.v. time. And when those cases go to court, you'd probably be surprised at how often the charges are lessened or even dropped because of police misbehavior.
Livvy-P Livvy-P 8 years
Great Sommelier : I don't think today's protesters know the difference between civil disobedience and out and out criminal activity. I totally agree. I like Gore, a lot, and I think that he is right to a certain extent, but there are people out there who take calls to action like this as a right to cause destruction, mayhem, etc. There has to be a better way.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
I agree GS!
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
I don't think today's protesters know the difference between civil disobedience and out and out criminal activity.
stephley stephley 8 years
I do believe clean coal is like safe cigarettes and civil disobedience is a fine response to irresponsible behavior. Blocking construction sites and roads to and from plants is effective - I think recent events should teach us that conventional corporate and governmental wisdom should not be trusted - it's all about the money.
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
I love U2 and everything, but Bono kind of bothers me.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
he then added at the end "Im super Serial you guys"
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that gore makes a good point here - it's like an oxy-moron. i can understand how industry thinks that it still needs to rely heavily on coal but come on! i don't think that rallies and old school chaining yourself to a fence is going to do it -but the younger generations are certainly educated and opinionated enough to be heard in an organzied manner. i think that if we want there to be a planet for our families to live on generations down the line, then we need to start to impact things now. Gore has successfully reached the masses through his documentary, and i think that he could really rally the forces to get another movement organized that can hope to change the way that things are done.
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