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What’s at risk if we don’t slow global warming? The survival of civilization as we know it.

TreeHugger alum Brian Merchant interviewed Former Vice President Al Gore for Motherboard about climate change and the future. Gore is optimistic, but also doesn’t hold back in expressing his concern for the future of humanity.

Asked what he things the world could look like in 100 years, Gore starts off optimistic:

“Well, the answer is in our hands. We have the opportunity to make some wise choices; to transform the global economy to a low-carbon economy. And if we make that choice we can create millions of new jobs in the fields of solar energy and wind energy and energy efficiency. And new building technology, that where 25% of all the emissions are in inefficient buildings. And we can have a more vibrant economy and instill a sense of hope in people’s hearts that the future is going to look good. I am optimistic, but I see these trends that are going to go one way or the other depending on the choices we make.

But if we do not take action to reverse climate change, Gore says civilization itself is at risk:

What’s at risk is if we did not take action truly is the survival of civilization as we know it. And that will sound like an extreme statement to many people, but literally that is the case. You know, we have seen global warming thus far of just a little bit less than one degree Celsius and look at what has happened: Superstorm Sandy, Boulder, Colorado, all these fires, Hurricane Irene one year before Sandy — how many billions was that? — this huge drought, dust storms starting up in”> bigger volumes again, the Pakistan flood that displaced 20 million people, the Russian drought and fires that led to the highest spike in food prices ever recorded — that has an impact on poor people around the world. You look at all of the impacts that have occurred with less than one degree increase in temperature and then you project what they say could be a five to six degree increase possibly by the end of this century, it’s unimaginable. We cannot allow that to happen.


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