By Sarah Moses -- Today staff
CLINTON, N.Y. - Former Vice President Al Gore has traveled all over the world to talk about global warming, an issue that he presents as a nonpolitical topic.
''This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue,'' Gore said to the students, staff and community members April 26 at Hamilton College in upstate New York. ''It's not about left and right, it's about right and wrong.''
Gore's lecture was a part of the college's Sacerdote Great Names Series, held in the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House. He gave his highly publicized lecture about the dangers of global warming, titled ''An Inconvenient Truth.'' Gore's documentary of the same title has won him awards and acclaim throughout the world, including an Oscar for Best Documentary.
The audience gave him a standing ovation as he walked into the field house; cheers and applause echoed even louder when Hamilton College President Joan Hinde Stewart hinted towards him running for president in 2008. She said when he was and ''until he again becomes a presidential candidate'' he has the advantage of being a nonpartisan candidate.
''Many people ask me why global warming in the USA is a partisan issue,'' Gore said. ''It's not a partisan issue and we need more Republicans and Democrats to stand up and say the same thing.''
Since Gore's loss in the 2000 presidential election, he has dived deep into his work with the environment, an issue that caused him to go into politics years ago. But now Gore has adapted his approach to create change. He uses the scientific facts of global warming tied together with personal stories and humor to bring the message of global warming to the public.
''I used to be the next president of the United States of America,'' Gore said as laughter broke out in the audience. ''I don't think that's funny. I flew on Air Force Two and now I have to take my shoes off to get on an airplane.''
During his multimedia presentation, Gore also joked about his political career and his run for the White House in 2000, but the basis of his talk was to highlight the issues of global warming and the critical need for immediate action.
''This is the most dangerous crisis we have ever faced in our civilization,'' Gore said about global warming.
He explained that in the English language, the word ''crisis'' conveys a sense of alarm or extreme danger, but he said it is better to think of it as an opportunity. Gore explained that in the Chinese language the word ''crisis'' means both danger and opportunity.
''We focus on the danger without seeing the opportunity,'' explained Gore, who said that we have to start understanding the danger of global warming to be able to recognize the opportunity that we have for change.
Gore said that we have to change the way we think about the climate.
''We have everything we need to solve these problems,'' he said. ''We just need to understand what our problems are in order to fix them.''