"I am Al Gore, and I used to be the next president of the United States." In his cowboy boots and unfortunately pleated and tapered pants, Al Gore took the Nokia Theatre at Grand Prairie stage Saturday night to offer up his inconvenient truths. After observing just how good it was to be in Texas (har har), the ex-veep was in top-notch banter mode and was well received by the audience...OK, perhaps too well received. His soothing voice and hypnotizing use of his laser pointer had the woman in front of me down for the count in approximately 25 minutes, and my future niece seemed so excited by Gore's assurance that we could reverse global warming (back to 1970s levels, no less) that she offered some sharp kicks to the ribs, compromising, for my sister at least, the comfort of the theater's plush seats.
Overall, Gore was an ideal Saturday evening companion—educated, charming and witty (and not at all swayed by the three whole protestors out front). He quoted Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Upton Sinclair and, of course, Dire Straits. He showed many charts and graphs. He used a Matt Groening cartoon titled "Global Warming Or, None Like It Hot!" (If you haven't seen it, we've included it below.) He implored us with tender photos of polar bears and penguins. He reminded us that in 1976 he organized the first congressional hearing about global warming. And he suggested that just maybe the government "need[s] to pay attention to threats other than terrorism."
Gore also showed us a list of American cities (yay, Dallas!) that have independently ratified the Kyoto agreement, despite the U.S. government's refusal. He was well-spoken, energetic, motivating and unexpectedly offered quite a bit of info not included in An Inconvenient Truth.
Now before I call Green Mountain Energy and load up my trunk with recyclables, I'll leave you with the best inspirational quote/personal jab I think I've ever heard, from Big Al himself: "We have no silver bullet. We have silver buckshot." Applause, applause, applause. --Merritt Martin
Bonus Video: A clip from Futurama titled "Global Warming, Or None Like It Hot!"
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