A Chat with Al Gore

Comments Off on A Chat with Al Gore

John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly interview Al Gore in the last session of the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco this week. Batelle shakes Gore’s hand as they sit down for a fireside-like chat following Gore’s talk about the election, politics in the new world where Web 2.0 plays a key role and the environment.


He’s emotional and slightly unsettled when he approaches the podium. He wipes his brow and says, “wow, what a week,” recounting that there were far too many emotional moments to go into. He talked about how many opportunities there are on the Web today and how these have revolutionized every aspect of running for President.

He says, “The electrifying redemption of America’s revolutionary declaration that all human beings are created equal would not have been possible without the additional empowerment of individuals to use information as power that has come with the Internet.”


He thinks that one of the main reasons our political system has not been operating well until this election is the current state of television. He goes into crowd sourcing, how it started in Europe in more primitive ways before the Constitution was written. there was a primitive Crowd Source with what we’re trying to figure out based on the information we had, that was followed by the constitution.

“So,” he says, “the Internet comes in and democratizes information again. Its no accident that all the change movements have jumped on the Internet to communicate their cause. TV still dampens it.” As a way to plug Current TV, one of his babies, he asks, “what about inviting people to make and edit their own television?”


He tells us an amusing story about the first time his family got a puppy. One of the reporters he was working with at the time who was also an expert on dogs came out to the farm and asked them, ‘what’s the puppy’s purpose? Is it a watchdog, is it going to play with the kids, is it going to bring in the paper?’ “We had to really think about this,” he said. “It’s something that always stuck with me. Web 2.0 has to have a purpose. We have to have a purpose.”

He adds, “the purpose is to bring about a higher level of consciousness about this planet because of the rapid transformation between humans and the earth. We have an opportunity to save it, reduce our national security risk, and save the planet. The only way this is going to be solved is by addressing the democracy crisis. We have to take this issue and raise it in the awareness of everyone.”


Batelle asks Gore, “do you worry about the movement losing steam?” Gore thinks not because of the fact that the movement is very much in its infancy. He says, “It’s barely beginning. The social activism that is made possible by these new tools is just beginning to take off.”


But O’Reilly wants to know, “don’t we lose time because of what is front and center right now?”


Gore says, “I’ve heard more people say that the climate crisis provides a way to help offset the economic crisis. Economists across the spectrum, left, right and center, say that the ideal way to stimulate the economy is with a larger program. We need to build a unified central smart grid that has two sets of characteristics. We need a national retrofit program to insulate homes. When you extend money to fix buildings, you can save the homeowner money. We can create ten million new jobs very very quickly. We also need increase incentives and electrify the automobile fleet.”


Gore goes back to purpose and our mission. He says, “young people who have been so inspired by Obama’s campaign have a purpose. When we hear things about the environment, we react but then it goes away. There’s a big connection going from the fear center to the reasoning process but only a little coming back. It needs to be stored in the cloud, we need to have this inconvenient truth stored in the cloud so people don’t have to rely on the process, so people can respond to it collectively.” (positive clapping response from the audience)

And in response from a question from the audience on what kind of role the government should have in the Internet?” Very little says Gore. Very little.


Read More Share

Recent Author Posts

Join Our Community

Connect On Social Media

Most Popular Posts

We Blog The World

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!