I had the opportunity to be back stage at the '24 Hours of Reality' featuring Al Gore. It was a packed tour de force, traversing every continent and examining the very real impacts of climate change that people around the world are now experiencing. Though much of the footage was devastating, there was a message of hope... we will make it as a species. It will take a lot of work to stay below 2C degrees of global temperature ruse, but pathway to accomplish this is coming into view.
In the first segment of the show, Al Gore discussed with Dr. Kim, head of the World Bank, about the technology revolution that is underway, and the parallels between the cell phone revolution and the clean energy revolution. Back in 1980, a multimillion dollar study was funded by AT&T and other telco's to determine just how big the market might be for portable cellular phones. After an extensive analysis they arrived at a figure -- by the year 2000 there would be 900,000 cell phone users.
At the time, the market experts thought this projection was outlandishly high. The reality? By the year 2000 there were 109 million cell phone users. By 2012, 5 billion users. The moral of the story -- do'n't ever underestimate the power of technology when the barriers to progress are removed. Here's Al Gore in an impromput backstage talk he gave after the show:
If you want to learn more about the true costs of carbon pollution, visit Gore's nearly launched website http://www.thecostofcarbon.org/ -- you can enter in your location, find out how much you are inadvertantly contributing to climate impacts, and tweet your president that it's time for our governments to take bold action on climate change now.