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As a student at Harvard University watching two presidents lie about the Vietnam War, Al Gore knew he never wanted to get involved with such a corrupt system. “It soured me on politics,” said Gore, who spoke to a packed Cohen Auditorium in a Tisch College Distinguished Speakers talk on February 7.Then Gore took a climate science class taught by Roger Revelle, who designed the first experiment to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. “He opened my eyes to the climate crisis. He sketched out the contours of the crisis with great clarity,” Gore said. “It was the truth of climate crisis itself that pulled me farther and farther toward it. I could no more put it down than I could stop breathing.”
Gore went on to become a Congressman, senator, vice president of the United States, and Democratic nominee for president. “I found my way back to an appreciation for what elected politics could give you by way of the opportunity to make a difference,” Gore said. “I came to feel eventually that if we are going to claim our destiny and make self-government work, then people who feel passionately about doing the right thing have to be willing to get involved.”
Gore also founded the Climate Reality Project, wrote the book that would be the basis of the award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and together with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, received the Nobel Peace Prize for warning and informing the world about climate change.
In a talk moderated by Kelly Sims Gallagher, F00, F03—a professor of energy and environmental policy at the Fletcher School who attended the Paris Agreement negotiations and was an intern in his office when he was vice president—Gore delved into the physical and geopolitical dangers posed by climate change.
Seven percent of the United States …