Tom Bogdon
October 12, 2007


Time to step forward, Mr. Gore
by Tom Bogdon

A new Marshall Plan is needed to simultaneously tackle global warming and poverty, environmental activist and former Vice President Al Gore told an audience at United Nations Headquarters in New York City on Sept. 24, 2007.

“We now face a global crisis that makes it abundantly clear that increased carbon dioxide emissions anywhere are a threat to the integrity of this planet’s climate everywhere,” Gore said at an international luncheon event called “Global Voices on Climate Change.”

Increased emissions are responsible for rising temperatures and rising sea levels, which combine to elevate both food and water insecurity worldwide, Gore said, according to the UN News Service.

“We must link poverty reduction with the sharp reduction of carbon dioxide emissions,” Gore asserted, calling for a plan of attack like that of the Marshall Plan, referring to the post-World War II European reconstruction initiative led by the United States. Following that pattern, Gore said, we need to link the struggles against climate change and poverty in the early 21st century world.

But, wait a minute Mr. Gore — the Marshall Plan was drafted by George C. Marshall, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during World War II, and President Harry S. Truman’s secretary of state in the postwar years.

Bear in mind, Mr. Gore, that George C. Marshall was no activist, and Harry S. Truman, although he served briefly as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s vice president, was President of the United States in his own right when the Marshall Plan was launched.

Which brings me to the point of this article, which is being written on Oct. 11, one day before the winner(s) of the Nobel Peace Prize are to be announced: We do not need a still relatively young elder statesman to identify the problems of climate change and global poverty.

Mr. Vice President, you have already done that, and for courageously taking on and accomplishing that daunting task — in a sometimes seemingly indifferent world — you have been awarded an Oscar, an Emmy and perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize.

Editor’s Note: It was announced on Oct. 12 that Al Gore and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundation for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

You, Tipper and your family occupy a nice home in Nashville, and because of your hard work and intelligence, you have all the money you will ever need. You could rest on your laurels, continuing to make speeches about global warming and poverty, and how to alleviate them.

But what the nation — and the world, including the penguins and polar bears — need is a statesman in the White House, one who has had a liberal education in politics but remains an idealist. We need a Commander-in-Chief who knows something about war and who will avoid it if it can be avoided. We need a Chief Executive who understands social and economic issues and who can articulate his recommendations to Congress and the people.

And at this juncture in history, the world needs a World Leader, someone of the stature of a General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Allied Commander in World War II who also hesitated about accepting the nomination of his party to run for the presidency in 1952.

As you know full well, The Draft Gore movement is robust and spreading to states all over the country, including Iowa and New Hampshire. As Jamie Reno noted in a Newsweek article a few days ago, “Grass-roots Gore loyalists have been buzzing for weeks about the Nobel Prize announcement scheduled for Oct. 12 in Oslo, Norway. Gore was nominated for his work on global warming, and several longtime Nobel observers believe this could be the year a champion of climate change gets the prize…”

Encouraged, Draft Gore organizations from Washington to Michigan to Massachusetts are working to put the Gore name on 2008 primary ballots. According to Newsweek, the number of volunteers in the California 4 Gore group has more than doubled to 1,100 since early August, enough to circulate petitions in all 53 congressional districts.

Just this week, the national Draft Gore organization ( ran a full-page ad in the New York Times, featuring an open letter addressed to Al Gore, and which includes a trim and youthful looking photo of the former vice president.

“You say you have fallen out of love with politics, and you have every reason to feel that way,” the letter states, referring to the bitter defeat to George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential election. “But we know you have not fallen out of love with your country. And your country needs you now — as do your party and the planet you are fighting to save.”

The ad also displays a quote from Jarrett Wold, of Minot, ND, who says, “There’s no higher calling than when a nation asks you to lead. We’re asking you to lead now, and we hope you’ll rise to it.”

Tom Bogdon can be contacted at


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