Posts Tagged ‘Al Gore’

Everyone who counts was there. There was unity. There were tears. There was laughter. It was a sendoff befitting a president attended by past presidents, government officials past and present, and many, many others from every walk of life.

Cindy McCain stood with the grace, composure, and strength that we saw from Jackie Kennedy until a brief moment during Danny Boy.

Meghan McCain spoke like an American storm, and despite comments she has made about Hillary Clinton, Hillary appeared to be smiling in encouragement and pride in Meghan’s power.

All of the music was beautiful including a very unusual rendition of Amazing Grace partially accompanied by bagpipes.

It was a celebration of more than John McCain. It was a celebration of the country he fought for in many different roles in his life.


National Cathedral Hosts Memorial Service For Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)National Cathedral Hosts Memorial Service For Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)National Cathedral Hosts Memorial Service For Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)National Cathedral Hosts Memorial Service For Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

I could be wrong, but that looks like Tricia Nixon behind Dick Cheney.

National Cathedral Hosts Memorial Service For Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)


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Schedule of Events

Friday, November 17, 2017

3:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Video interview sessions:  Share the memories and stories that made the Clinton-Gore campaign inspiring
Location:  Clinton Presidential Center – Choctaw Building (red brick former train station)
Note:  Find more information and schedule your video session online here

5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Tours of Clinton Presidential Center
Including new temporary exhibits Mandela: The Journey to Ubuntu and Art of Africa: One Continent, Limitless Vision
Location:  Clinton Presidential Center

5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. – restaurant
5:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m. – bar
42 bar and table, the Clinton Presidential Center’s award-winning on-site restaurant, open for dinner
Location:  Clinton Presidential Center – Lower Level
Note:  Reservations are recommended and may be made through Open Table or by calling (501) 537-0042

Saturday, November 18, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Video interview sessions:  Share the memories and stories that made the Clinton-Gore campaign inspiring
Location:  Clinton Presidential Center – Choctaw Building (red brick former train station)
Note:  Find more information and schedule your video session online here

3:30 p.m. – doors open
4:30 p.m. – program begins
Kumpuris Distinguished Lecture featuring a special conversation with President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton, moderated by James Carville
Location:  Statehouse Convention Center – Governor’s Hall
* credentials required for entry *
Note:  The Statehouse Convention Center is connected to the Little Rock Marriott; It is across the street from the Capital Hotel; Shuttles will be available from the Hilton Garden Inn

6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friends & Family Reunion Picnic
Location:  Clinton Presidential Center – Celebration Circle Pavilion, Great Hall, and 42 bar and table
* credentials required for entry *
Note:  Shuttles will be available from the Statehouse Convention Center to the Clinton Presidential Center and will be available from the Clinton Presidential Center to the Little Rock Marriott, Capital Hotel, and Hilton Garden Inn

Sunday, November 19, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Video interview sessions:  Share the memories and stories that made the Clinton-Gore campaign inspiring
Location:  Clinton Presidential Center – Choctaw Building (red brick former train station)
Note:  Find more information and schedule your video session online here

9:00 a.m. – seating 1
11:00 a.m. – seating 2
Gourmet Brunch
Location:  Clinton Presidential Center – Celebration Circle Pavilion
Note:  Prior reservations are required

Purchase tickets >>>>

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About a week-and-a-half after finishing Hillary Clinton’s What Happened  I was

1) not ready to re-read it quite yet and

2) not ready to start reading anything else. I wanted it to sit with me awhile like a nice Thanksgiving dinner.

I looked for a good movie on TV and nothing appealed to me, so I checked out *On Demand and found Recount available.

I hadn’t watched it in years – double digit years. There was much that I had either forgotten, or never noticed, or had not realized the significance of the first time around.

Ron Klain is the central character in the film. Hillary gives him a shout out in her book as a member of her debate prep team. We see him often as a commentator on MSNBC as we do Jeremy Bash who is a major supporting character in the film. The first time I saw this movie, I really had no idea who they were besides dedicated campaign staffers.

I had forgotten that each campaign had called in a former secretary of state to manage the chaos that originated around the infamous ‘butterfly ballot’ in Palm Beach County, FL.  The Democrats brought Warren Christopher aboard, and the Republicans called on James Baker.

If you are unfamiliar with that ballot, here it is.

Image result for image butterfly ballot

The butterfly ballot necessitated the correct insertion of the ballot (the yellow part underneath) into the machine and the use of that blue-handled stick-pin to punch a hole in the appropriate place on the ballot beside the ticket you chose. The complaint among many seniors in Palm Beach County was that they thought they might have punched hole #4 for Buchanan when they meant to vote for Gore (#5).

The confusion that ensued comprised the possibilities that people may well have simply punched the wrong circle, those circles are pretty small and many older people are vision-impaired, or that they may have inserted their ballots incorrectly, or that they had not punched the ballot firmly enough resulting in CHAD (Card Hole Aggregate Debris ) not completely detached from the ballot or even a “dimpled” ballot, i.e. no hole at all – only a dimple or indentation. A machine recount, as we learned, could push the partially detached “debris” back into the ballot nullifying the vote. A manual recount would raise the issue of voter intent in the cases of dimpled ballots. Florida does have a law regarding voter intent.

This is pretty nitty-gritty stuff for former global diplomats to be dealing with … unless it is your vote. Bringing in Christopher and Baker was also necessitated by the fact that the entire election would pivot around Florida, and once Palm Beach County was in question, folks in other counties began to question whether their votes were counted. In other words, the election in Florida, where one candidate’s brother was governor, was in question and was a mess … a world-class mess.

Here are a few things I had forgotten.

Al Gore had the popular vote even before Florida was counted.

Al Gore did concede on election night. He called George W. Bush. Then he called back and retracted when he was told the Florida numbers were going haywire. He was stopped just short of delivering his concession speech on election night.

Here is one thing I had never paid attention to. One line might well have gone forgotten or fallen to the cutting room floor since the actual character never made an appearance in the film. In an organizational meeting, James Baker is told that Jesse Jackson has Black and Jewish senior citizens marching in the streets demanding that their votes be counted and, as he said, “Who can argue with that?”

He then told Ben Ginsberg, a campaign attorney, to call in Roger Stone and bring crowds to Tallahassee, Palm Beach, and Miami.

Yes. That Roger Stone. Yes, this James Baker, and that James Baker! He called in that Roger Stone!

We all know how this ended when it finally did on December 12, 2000. SCOTUS halted the recount, Gore decided not to pursue any other pathways still open (to Ron Klain’s agony) and delivered a televised concession speech in the most upbeat of his usual upbeat manners. Many of us cried.

Looking back on this after reading Hillary’s excruciating chapter on election night and the day after, I see a difference in myself. I was a Gore supporter. No question about that. I would even say an enthusiastic one. But I was not impassioned. I kicked in my contributions. I had a demanding job that did not permit me much free time, and I was certain that this country would not elect George W. Bush. He was a joke to me and ended up a joke on me.

For Hillary, I was impassioned. Hillary was a cause for me. Despite my job, I worked hard for her in 2008 and much, much harder in 2015-16. One reason was the lesson I had learned about how U.S. voters will elect a joke. Much more of it was a long history of Hillary appreciation. She had the best experience, was the hardest worker, had the best mind and the best plans, as usual.  I knew all about them and promoted them. I gave every way I could.

Yet, on election night, I was not among the sobbers. I was not one of those crying. First, I was in severe shock. I could not comprehend what happened. It was as if I had been kicked in the head or struck by lightning.  I heard that she had called Trump. Then, I was deflated. Completely. I could not move, think, type, or speak. I was a zombie. Walking Dead. (Mind you. I have lived in Haiti and seen and met true zombies. That is how I was. Exactly.)

Neither was I tearful the following morning. This was a formality. A speech she felt she had to give. I appreciated the thought and feeling she had put into her words and the courage of her delivery. But it all was unreal to me. I was still in warrior mode – zombie warrior. Much as she did in June 2008, she graciously conceded. I was angry in 2008, and I was confused in 2016 because I did not see how this had happened. Something was very wrong here, but crying was too simple, and it was not going to satisfy my soul.

Having read Hillary’s reaction I think hers was pretty close to mine (hers, obviously, must have been mine times 66 million). Just drained, traumatized. Something had gone terribly wrong. But what?

What went into her decisions, to call Trump, to delay the speech since she had not written one, to give the speech the next day, what she did in those crucial hours, she explains all of that in that chapter. We didn’t have a lot of solid answers then.

Since then, we have gradually learned a lot, but we don’t know everything. For that we need to hear from Robert Mueller’s team.

We know that Obama encouraged Hillary to concede quickly and that she agreed with that. When I said on social media that she did not want to put the nation through another 2000, I was reminded that this is not 2000.  That is true, but the effect would have been similar, and even now we do not have the answers and there was no provision or mechanism to hold things off until we did have the information.

It was not Hillary but Terry Gross who brought up the issue of questioning the legitimacy of the election  earlier this month. Hillary responded that she did not think we had a mechanism for that.

That is another issue that looms large in Recount. Mechanisms. Apparently, the way election law was written in Florida at the time (and I have zero reason to think this has changed), if you want a total recount in that state, you must ask for that recount first before you request recounts in specific counties. That may be bass-ackwards, but that is their law. Having first requested recounts by county, Gore’s team was, by law, unable to request a full recount of the state. This was temporarily overturned by the Florida Supremes who called for a full state recount which proceeded until SCOTUS reversed that decision and stopped it. Likely they halted it because there are always those annoying dates! You must have a state winner by the time the Electoral College meets. You must have a president by January 20 even if Congress has to choose.

Another point brought up in the course of the machinations was that SCOTUS really should have no voice at all in an election and only Congress should, but both sides had already filed suits that had reached the Florida Supreme Court. By default, appeals went to SCOTUS.

In an election, much of what happens in 50 states with 3,142 counties is a function of local laws. If you did not like what happened in 2000, specifically that came down to Florida and its 67 counties. At best it would mean changing state election laws, which I do not think they have. At worst that would involve making micro-changes at the county level.

As for 2016, it would likely require some Constitutional change – an amendment. The least complicated path would be to abolish the Electoral College which twice in this young century has handed us the unpopular president. The College misrepresents the population. Who knows how likely such an amendment would be given gerrymandering and dark money in elections? It would not be easy. But worth a try.

At the end of Recount a codicil is read providing that the SCOTUS decision applied exclusively to Bush v. Gore. In other words, it can never be seen or used as a precedent for any future case.

There is much to be learned from the past, but there are not necessarily permanent fixes to past obstacles.
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The State Department press corps had boarded and had been logged in – both by the crew and on their social nets – when the secretary of state’s motorcade drove up. Hillary Clinton was about to board for her first official tour in Africa as secretary of state.  It was very exciting, but her press corps, all logged into Twitter, were disconcerted.  There was another motorcade on the tarmac. Another plane was preparing for takeoff.  The State Department press corps did not like it, and they said so on Twitter and other social nets.

What’s he doing, they queried. He’s stealing her light! There was a tweetstorm of monumental proportions.

The “he” in this case was the secretary of state’s husband and the former president who was off on a mission to rescue two journalists captured and imprisoned in North Korea.

They were employed by his former vice president, and the former POTUS went at his behest with the approval of the new president and his secretary of state, about to be bound to Africa. She knew all about it, of course. For the sake of convenience and perhaps to some degree for the sake of last minute preps and briefings, they had left their Georgetown residence together and arrived at Andrews for their separate missions. It was well-coordinated as such events go.

The DOS press corps, however did not see it that way that particular morning. They circled their wagons around the secretary of state, whose coverage was their job, and expressed their disgruntlement on Twitter where I was following several of the younger members of the corps.

Their loyalty to and protectiveness of Hillary was plain to see. No one should be stealing her steam, not even her husband, a two-term former POTUS.  This was her big trip.  They were there to make it visible to the world.

Apparently the current SOS, Rex Tillerson, missed class that day and in the days following Hillary Clinton’s flu and subsequent fainting spell and concussion, or even her bouts with spring allergies, or he would know the fealty and concern with which the DOS press corps treats coverage of the secretary of state.

Instead of giving them a fair chance to get to know him, bond, and explain and defend him in the press, he has opted to treat them as the enemy and barred them from the plane on his first official excursion to Asia. N.B. Asia was also Hillary’s first official trip as SOS.

This decision is not only folly but also speaks to the general attitude of this administration toward the press.  Without giving them the chance to get to know him and perhaps develop a sympathy toward him and his work, he has chosen to banish them as inimical – the general stance of the administration – and a dangerous and foolhardy one.

The State Department press corps tends to be very open, supportive, and defensive of the secretary of state. Tillerson, on his first official journey, has chosen to erect a wall, another symbol of this new administration, between him and those whose function is to cover his tenure.

He has decided to pare down. He will not be using the Big Blue Bird – so familiar via Condi, Hillary, and John Kerry.  He will use a smaller plane. N.B. that this does not necessarily represent any reduction of expenses since the news bureaus pay for the press transportation.  It represents, instead, a slap in the face to the free press.

The Trump administration and Tillerson as part of it have chosen to treat the press as the enemy.  They could have caught more flies with honey, but never mind. As Roseanne Rosannadanna might have said, Mr. Tillerson, you sound like a real attractive guy.  Truth is, when you have a name that sounds like it came out of an “Archie” comic book, you really needed all the help you could have gotten, and beggars cannot be choosers.


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Hillary and Al Gore, who “used to be the next president of the United States,”  teamed up to talk about climate change in Florida – a state at high risk with a coastline of 1,350 miles.  At the Kendall Campus of Miami Dade College, Hillary, typically wonky, reviewed an encyclopedic list of the effects of climate change.  Al Gore reviewed the 2000 election.

Conventional wisdom is that he lost by 537 votes in Florida. We do not know that for certain because he finally conceded rather than continue pushing for the recount when SCOTUS stopped it.  As he reminded the audience, they chanted “You won! You won!”  Principle/protest voters need to recall the role Ralph Nader played in the 2000 election.

No image more powerfully conveys the importance of every vote than Al Gore standing with Hillary Clinton. Bob Shrum, Gore’s former chief consultant, told Steve Kornacki “I think he won the election.  He didn’t get inaugurated.”  Gore’s 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, did win a few Oscars, and Hillary strongly recommended that you see it if you have not already.

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KODAK Digital Still Camera

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Joined by Gore in Miami, Clinton Lays Out Plan to Fight Climate Change

At a rally in Miami on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore laid out what’s at stake in this election by highlighting the urgent threat of climate change – a defining challenge of the 21st century. Clinton discussed the very real impacts of climate change on American communities, especially in Florida where one in eight homes—$400 billion in real estate—could be underwater by the end of this century. Clinton highlighted locally-driven clean energy and climate solutions and contrasted her plan to make American the clean energy superpower with that of Donald Trump, who dangerously calls climate change a Chinese hoax and would cancel the Paris climate agreement. Clinton said, “He doesn’t care what it would do to the planet.  He doesn’t care how much that would damage American leadership in the world.  He doesn’t care what it would do to the future we leave our kids and our grandkids. Well, he may not care – but we do. And that’s why this election is so critically important because on the ballot, it is not just my name. It’s every issue we care about it’s our values as a country.”

Clinton’s plan includes producing enough renewable energy to power every home in the country, cutting energy waste in homes, schools, hospitals and offices by one third, reducing oil consumption by one third through clean fuels and advanced cars and toyota trucks for sale logan ut, and investing in resilient infrastructure that will withstand extreme weather and the impacts of climate change.

Gore called Clinton the best candidate to confront the issue of climate change. He also said that she is poised to solve our nation’s biggest challenges, adding, “The choice is that clear. It’s that stark. The consequences for not just our children and grandchildren and future generations, but for all of us, are really quite significant […] If you are on the fence about whether to vote, remember what is at stake in this election. And if you think your vote does not matter, take it from me, your vote can make all of the difference in this election.”

Gore urged the crowd to vote early, and to register to vote ahead of Florida’s Wednesday deadline.

Clinton and Gore’s remarks, as transcribed, are below: HILLARY CLINTON: “Hello, Miami Dade College! It is so great to be here with all of you.

And I want to thank everyone for gathering and in particular, I want to thank all of the elected officials. Thanks to Congressman Patrick Murphy who I hope is the next senator from Florida. Thanks to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Thank you to Mayor Phillip Levine of Miami Beach. Thanks to Mayor Phillip Stoddard of South Miami. Thanks to all the others who were part of the program. As we were coming in, we heard lots of energy coming from this crowd, and I was told as I was coming out, there’s an overflow, but they can hear us in the overflow, and we’re so happy you’re here as well! So thanks to the overflow crowd. But what I am most excited about is to be here with one of the world’s most foremost leaders on climate change: Al Gore.

About a decade ago, Al made a movie called ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’  Now, maybe some of you have seen it, but if you haven’t, I hope you’ll watch it tonight.  It doesn’t have a lot of special effects – but it does have a lot of drama.

And here’s the main message:  climate change is real, it’s urgent, and America can take the lead in the world in addressing it.  Right? We here in America can develop new clean energy solutions.  We can transform our economy.  We can rally the world to cut carbon pollution.  And above all, we can fulfill our moral obligation to protect our planet for our children and our grandchildren.

Now, let me just say – so, so let’s remember, let’s remember what’s at stake. I’m running against a guy who denies science, denies climate change, claims it’s a hoax created by the Chinese. So this is something that Al Gore’s been working on for a really long time. And I want you to know how far back he goes. It was in 1982 when he held the very first hearing on climate change in the House of Representatives with the world-famous climate scientist Jim Hansen. And then when Al became a senator, he continued to raise the alarm and look for solutions, and as vice president, he led America’s efforts to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to cut greenhouse gas emissions. You take all this together, those 30 years of leadership led Al Gore to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

I was very proud because he had been determined and persistent, and in the face of a lot of people – in public life, in business, in elsewhere who were trying to diminish the importance of the science – he never wavered. And in the years since, the climate challenge has only grown more stark.  And I will tell you this, it is one of the most important issues at stake in this election.

Look at it this way. Our next president will either step up our efforts to address climate change, to protect our planet, to protect our health, and to create good jobs that cannot be outsourced by growing our clean energy economy. Or in the alternative, we will be dragged backwards and our whole future will be put at risk.

So we’ve really got to get this right. And if you need additional convincing, just remember what happened this week. Hurricane Matthew killed at least 26 people in our country, more than a thousand as far as we know right now in Haiti.  North Carolina is still dealing with serious flooding and will be at least for the rest of the week, if not longer.  We all need to support each other as our communities put the pieces back together and begin the long road back from this disaster.

That’s why I’ve encouraged everyone to give what you can afford to the Florida Disaster Fund or to Team Rubicon, the veterans organization working to respond to Hurricane Matthew, or to UNICEF, helping children and families on the ground in Haiti.

Now, some will say, ‘We’ve always had hurricanes.  They’ve always been destructive.’  And that’s true. But Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change.  Right now, the ocean is at or near record-high temperatures – and that contributed to the torrential rainfall and the flash flooding that we saw in the Carolinas.  Sea levels have already risen about a foot – one foot – in much of the Southeast, which means that Matthew’s storm surge was higher and the flooding was more severe.

Plus, as you know, the impact of climate change goes beyond extreme events like hurricanes.  It’s become a daily reality here in Miami.  You have streets in Miami Beach and in Shorecrest that are flooding at high tide.  The ocean is bubbling up through the sewer system.  Sometimes, people call 311 because they assume a water main must have broken when actually it is the sea rising around them.

So, if you need proof that climate change is real and that it’s costly, there you go.  So at this rate, at this rate, my friends, my friends, please. Let’s focus on what’s really important in this election and in your future and the future of our country, because this is what I want you to hear and understand. At the rate we are going, one in eight homes in Florida could be underwater by the end of the century, and when kids – like that adorable young boy over there on his dad’s shoulders – are grandparents, we believe that’s more than $400 billion worth of property in Florida at risk, and nationwide, it’s as much as $882 billion in property at risk.

But there’s also health consequences. Mosquitoes that carry diseases like the Zika virus and ticks that carry Lyme disease are expanding their ranges. And hotter summers and longer pollen seasons are making allergies and asthma worse, which is especially bad for our children. And look at what is happening in California, a brutal five-year drought. Wildfires have burned more than 9 million acres in our country last year.

And it’s also about national security. The Pentagon has identified climate change as a threat to our America’s national security.  The U.S. Atlantic Fleet is based in Norfolk, Virginia.  It’s the largest naval installation in the world.  And because of rising sea level, the base is frequently flooded, even when it’s sunny. So that’s why the Pentagon is looking at how climate change will affect readiness and operations, not just in Norfolk, but at all of our military bases around the world.

So you would think if you look at the facts, if you listen to the science, that even the most committed climate skeptic would say, ‘Ok, I agree, something’s happening here. We need to take it seriously.’

But unfortunately, there are still plenty of people – in Washington, on the campaign trail – who won’t face what’s happening right in front of us.

Donald Trump, is, quote, ‘not a big believer’ in climate change.  As I said, he said it’s a hoax created by the Chinese. And in our first debate two weeks ago, he tried to deny saying that. But that tweet is still there for everyone to see.

And I would wish that Donald would actually listen to people here in Florida, like Miami Beach’s Mayor Philip Levine and others who are doing incredible work to address these ‘Sunny Day’ Floods. Or maybe, he would listen to Miami Beach Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán. Or maybe he would listen to Miami Beach Commissioner, John Elizabeth Alemán. John Elizabeth is a Republican, but she’s supporting our campaign—because she knows America can’t afford a candidate who doesn’t accept climate science. Or maybe Donald would listen to our military leaders who say climate change threatens our national security, or what about the ranchers in Colorado, or the mayors in Arizona or the community leaders in Alaska who say, ‘Our lives and jobs and families are being affected – please, let’s come together as a country and do something about it.’

We cannot risk putting a climate denier in the White House.  At all, that is absolutely unacceptable.

We need a president who believes in science and who has a plan to lead America in facing this threat, creating good jobs, and yes, saving our planet.

So here’s what I want to do.

First, we need to do a lot more on clean energy.  The clean energy superpower of the 21st century is probably going to be either Germany, China, or us—and I want it to be us. And I want you to be part of making it us.

And we need to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and create high paying jobs, building and installing more solar panels and wind turbines. Modernizing our electric grid. Retrofitting buildings. Building resilient, 21st century infrastructure, and we have to make sure no community is left out or left behind—not our cities or our small towns or our remote, rural areas.

Now, you wouldn’t know it if you only listened to my opponent talk about how terrible everything is. He has such a dark, divisive view of America, but that doesn’t tell the story about what’s really going on. It’s actually pretty exciting. In red states and blue states, local leaders are stepping up.  Rural electric co-ops are investing in community solar power and you see that across America – union workers in Michigan, union workers in Michigan are getting ready to build electric Chevys in a plant powered by clean energy.  Iowa, Iowa is already getting a third of its electricity from wind.  Wind turbines are going up in New England and on Lake Erie. Renewable energy is already the fastest-growing source of new jobs in America. I think that is so exciting – there are nearly 2 million people already working in energy efficiency.

And in Spartanburg, South Carolina, a project called ReGenesis is taking an old landfill and turning it into a solar farm. That landfill was a blight and a health threat, just 250 feet away from a residential neighborhood. Now, that same land will generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power 500 homes.

So this is what we can do. And I think Washington should back up and support doing more of that. As president, I want us to have 500 million solar panels installed across America by the end of my first term. And let’s generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America within the decade. Let’s make our buildings and factories more energy efficient and cut our oil consumption by one-third.

And we can get there by investing in cutting edge research, to keep developing cheaper and better clean energy technologies, investing in clean energy infrastructure and advanced manufacturing, putting big partnerships together between states, cities, and rural communities.

We can do all of this and create millions of good-paying jobs as we do. So I’m hoping that these good jobs will offer security and dignity while we produce the clean energy that will power the economy of the future. The clean energy solutions are being developed right here in America. We want them manufactured in America, installed in America, and putting people to work in America.

And while we do that, let’s make sure our communities are ready for the impacts of climate change that are coming right at us. We need to invest in resilient infrastructure. Now, sometimes that will mean building a seawall; other times, let’s be more creative – like in New York Harbor, where we are replanting oyster beds to form natural barriers to storm surge.  Sometimes we’ll overhaul an outdated sewer system to deal with flooding from heavy downpours.  In Philadelphia, they’re trying something else: green roofs, porous pavements, curbside gardens to help absorb storm water.

And here’s something we don’t talk enough about. Let’s make sure our hospitals can stay open and operational in any kind of disaster. Because sadly, I saw what happened in New York during Hurricane Sandy, newborns who had been on respirators had to be evacuated down nine flights of stairs in one New York hospital, because the electricity went off. Nurses, I love nurses – heroic, courageous nurses were carrying those babies and manually squeezing bags of air to keep them breathing. Now, here in Miami, you know how important this is. You have retrofitted the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital with a hurricane-resistant shell for exactly this reason. And every hospital in the country should follow your lead and build in more resilience.

And then finally, we have got to lead the world to confront the climate challenge. If we don’t do it, nobody will do it. We must confront the climate challenge. There’s no doubt about that. And so, let’s move on with the kind of leadership that the world as well as our country deserves.

When I was Secretary of State, I worked with President Obama to make climate change a top diplomatic priority.  We fought to get China and India and other major polluters to agree for the first time in history to be part of the solution.  In fact, we had to crash a secret meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark – slip past the guards – it was all very cloak and dagger.  But for a really important purpose, and because of that breakthrough, and a lot of patient, persistent work, and because of American leadership, 195 nations signed on to a global agreement last December.  It’s called the Paris Agreement.  And I am not exaggerating when I say it is our last, best chance to solve the global, climate crisis.

And what does Donald Trump want to do? He wants to cancel the Paris Agreement.  He doesn’t care what it would do to the planet.  He doesn’t care how much that would damage American leadership in the world.  He doesn’t care what it would do to the future we leave our kids and our grandkids.

Well, he may not care – but we do. And that’s why this election is so critically important because on the ballot, it is not just my name. It’s every issue we care about it’s our values as a country.

Climate change needs to be a voting issue. We need to elect people up and down the ballot, at every level of government, who take it seriously and are willing to roll up their sleeves and get something done. Please, we cannot keep sending climate deniers and defeatists to Congress or to state houses—and certainly not to the White House.

And if you care about climate, your Senate race is also really important, and I’ll tell you why. It is unacceptable, it is an unacceptable response for Marco Rubio, when asked about climate change to say, ‘I’m not a scientist.’ Well, why doesn’t he ask a scientist and then maybe then he’d understand why it is so important that he, representing Florida, be committed to climate change? That’s why I hope that you’ll elect Patrick Murphy to the United States Senate.

Look, we need leaders who can get results. It’s easy to stonewall. It’s not enough to protest: we need creativity, we need hard work.  And when it comes to climate change, we don’t have a minute to waste.

So, I know it’s easy to get cynical—especially about our politics. I get that. But this election matters more than any has in a really long time, and I believe that as strongly as I can, we’ve got to address this issue for our sakes, our children, our grandchildren. And it’s so critically important when you think about how leadership can make a difference.

And just look, if you will – look at the difference between your state, the Sunshine State, which has less solar energy than New Jersey has right now. And do you know why? Because you have a governor who has ordered the state government never to use the words ‘climate change.’ So my friends, this is a big deal in the election, and it is going to be a big deal for our country and our world. And there isn’t anybody – there isn’t anybody who knows more, has done more, has worked harder. I know he was in Miami just last year, training and educating people to be climate change activists.  I can’t wait to have Al Gore advising me when I am President of the United States. So please join me in welcoming our former vice president, a climate change leader and an all-around great guy, Al Gore.”


“Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton, and ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for the warm welcome. I appreciated those kind words very much. I want to acknowledge all of the elected officials and distinguished guests who are here, and I want to say a special word of thanks to President Eduardo Padrón and Miami Dade College. I understand you’ve got a pretty good women’s volleyball team here, so go Lady Sharks. Is that what you say?

I’m here today with two very simple messages. Number one, when it comes to the most urgent issue facing our country and the world, the choice in this election is extremely clear. Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority. Very important. Her opponent, based on the ideas that he has presented, would take us toward a climate catastrophe. So that’s my first message: the climate crisis is and must be regarded as a top national priority and a top global priority.

Here is my second message: your vote really, really, really counts a lot. You can consider me as an Exhibit A of that truth. Now, for those of you younger – for those of you who are younger than 25, you might not remember the election of 2000 and what happened here in Florida and across the country. For those of you older than 25, I heard you murmuring just now. But take it from me, it was a very close election. Elections – well, here’s my point. Here’s my point. I don’t want you to be in a position years from now where you welcome Hillary Clinton and say, actually, you did win, it just wasn’t close enough to make sure that all the votes were counted or whatever.

Elections have consequences. Your vote counts. Your vote has consequences.

And in this election, the future of Miami and cities up and down the West Coast and East Coast of Florida are on the ballot as well. Indeed, the entire state of Florida and its future are on this ballot. So is our economy, our health, our national security. The common thread that binds all of these issues together: what we decide to do about carbon pollution and its damage to the ecological system of the Earth.

I don’t have to tell you here in Florida that the climate crisis is real. Yes, it’s true that some of your elected officials have not recognized that it’s real, but every single night on the television news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation. You look at the floods and the droughts and the mudslides and the fires and the incredible downpours, and as Secretary Clinton just mentioned, Hurricane Matthew just recently. You know, it spun up from a tropical storm into a category five hurricane in just 36 hours. That’s extremely unusual. And the reason that happened is the climate crisis is trapping so much extra heat in the Earth’s system, equivalent to what would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs going off every day. It’s a big planet, but that’s a lot of energy, and it’s warming the oceans – more than 90 percent of that heat energy goes into the oceans.

And so the southern Caribbean, where it spun up into a category five so quickly, was much warmer than normal because of that; and the Gulf Stream is way warmer than normal for this time of year for the same reason.

So this means also that all the water vapor coming off the oceans into the atmosphere is brought over the land and so we get these record downpours. Just in the last year, we have seen one-in-a-thousand-year downpours in Louisiana, West Virginia, Texas, Maryland. In Houston, in one 12-month period, they’ve just had two 500-year floods and one 1,000-year downpour. In one of them, they had as much water dumped on Harris County, Texas, where Houston is, as would have been put there by three and a half days of the entire flow of Niagara Falls. This is not normal. It is becoming the new normal, which is now a set of conditions that we have created with all of this man-made global warming pollution.

Secretary Clinton also mentioned the sea level rise. We have seen already – some of you who are a little bit older may remember Hurricane Andrew, when – yeah, absolutely. When Hillary and I were first campaigning together in 1992, Hurricane Andrew came through. Just since Hurricane Andres, the sea level in the waters around Florida have gone up three inches since Hurricane Andrew. And every vertical inch of sea level rise means four to eight feet of the water going inward and the storm surges on top of that. And yes, there are now, at high tide, sometimes ocean – fish from the ocean swimming in some of the streets of Miami Beach and Delray and Fort Lauderdale. And the rainfall in Carolina is – Secretary Clinton mentioned what they’re still dealing with there. They got 17 inches of rain because the warmer oceans not only make the wind speed much stronger than it has been in the past on average, but it also dumps all of that water on the land.

And she mentioned the role it plays in health. Just yesterday, there were six more cases of Zika announced in Dade County, and the public health authorities are doing a great job and really wrestling with it, and these tropical diseases have spread so quickly partly because of airline travel and the transportation revolution. But the changing climate conditions change the places where these tropical diseases become endemic and put down roots. The mosquitos mature faster, and then the virus in the mosquito incubates much faster, and they bite more often because they’re cold-blooded and when the temperature goes up, their metabolism goes up, and they spread the disease way more quickly.

So these and many other consequences, including the fires out West that Secretary Clinton talked about, are really wakeup calls for us. Mother Nature is giving us a very clear and powerful message. We cannot continue putting 110 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day as if it’s an open sewer. We’ve got to stop that. We’ve got to wake up and recognize the need for change.

So most people know that we have to change this, but here’s the really good news that more people should know. We can change this. We now have the ability to change this. It’s going to be a long, hard fight. We’ve got a long way to go. But we now have the renewable energy technologies and the efficiency improvements and electric vehicles and motorbikes that still apply for cheap 125 motorbike insurance, also sustainable and organic agriculture and sustainable forestry and the other ways of changing our lives for the better that can sharply diminish the amount of global warming pollution that we’re putting up there. And Secretary Clinton is exactly right that we can create good jobs in the process, jobs that can’t be outsourced.

She’s also right that either China or Germany or some other country other than the U.S. could become the renewable energy superpower of this new century. One day last December, Germany, which is much higher in latitude than the U.S. and pretty cloudy at that – one day they got 87 percent of all their electricity from wind and solar and renewable energy. We can be on track to do that as well. And China – yes, China is the biggest polluter now, but they have begun to change big time. Their coal use is going down. Their overall emissions are going down. And they’ve just announced that this – next year, in 2017, they’re adopting a nationwide cap and trade program and they’re taking other measures to reduce and to create those jobs in China.

And in Paris – the Paris Agreement is a big deal. Yeah, it’s not enough. Yes, it needed to do more. But it is by far the biggest step forward the world has ever taken to solve the climate crisis. Every nation in the world, virtually – I think there were three or four little ones like maybe Nicaragua or something like that who didn’t – but virtually every nation in the world agreed to phase out these greenhouse gas emissions and go to net-zero emissions early in the second half of this century, and to begin that process now. And it sent a powerful signal to businesses and industries and investors. And I can tell you, that signal is being received. We hear news every single day of more businesses making that shift.

So the question in this election, and this comes back to my first message, is which of these candidates is going to continue the progress and actually increase the rate of progress? With Hillary Clinton, we’ll build on the progress made under President Obama with the Paris Agreement and she will seize the opportunities. After all, solar electricity and wind electricity is now way cheaper than it was years ago when some of us started sounding the alarm about this crisis.

Hillary Clinton knows this very well, and she’s worked with President Obama. Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the cost of wind electricity has come down by half. Solar is down by 64 percent. LED is down by 94 percent. We have seen – we’ve seen electricity from solar increase 30 times over. Last year in the entire United States in the calendar year 2015, if you look at all of the new electricity generation that was added in the U.S. last year, what percentage of it do you think was solar and wind? Seventy-one percent, virtually zero from coal. And it’s already – it’s already creating millions of jobs and it continues to get cheaper and cheaper every single week. World records are being broken every month now as it continues to get cheaper.

Now, Hillary Clinton knows this not only because she has studied it and – not only because she’s worked with President Obama, but her work in the Senate emphasized this. Her work on child asthma and air pollution and helping to improve children’s health by cutting down on air pollution was very important. Her work on environmental justice, helping call attention to the fact that it’s the poor people and minority communities and people of color who are almost always victimized more than the rest of us on – by these environmental crises.

And she has proposed a terrific plan to install – well, she said it herself and I’m not going to repeat all of it, but I’ll just say this. When she put out her solar plan – a half a billion solar panels by the end of her first term and enough renewable energy to power every home in America – I looked at that plan very carefully. And I will say to all of you, you will hear a lot of candidates for office who will put out plans that have words you’re not even sure what they might mean because the words – there are ways to put things. I went through that with a fine-tooth comb, and I will tell you that her plan on solar panels and expanding renewable energy – it is right at the limit of what we can do, and that is exactly the kind of ambitious goal that we need from the next president of the United States of America.

Almost 100 years ago, America’s most famous inventor, Thomas Edison, said these words – it’s an exact quote: ‘I would put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power. I hope we don’t have to wait until the oil and coal come out before we tackle that.’

Now, I want to say a brief word – I’m going to return to my second main point here in a minute, but I want to say a brief word about something else that all of you can do. You can elect Patrick Murphy to the United States Senate instead of a climate denier. But here’s something else you can do. Vote ‘no’ on Initiative 1 on your ballot.

Hillary mentioned that there are fewer solar jobs in the Sunshine State, Florida, than there are in New Jersey. Actually, Florida also lags behind Massachusetts, which is even farther north. Despite having three times the population of Massachusetts, Florida has less than half of the solar jobs that have been created in Massachusetts. Massachusetts installed more solar energy last year alone than Florida has installed in its entire history.”

AUDIENCE MEMBER: “Ridiculous.”

AL GORE: “And one – yes, it’s ridiculous. That’s exactly right. And the head of one of the fossil-fuel-burning utilities here actually said last year, ‘Well, yes, Florida’s the Sunshine State, but remember, it’s also the partly cloudy state.’ Well, they are trying to cloud the truth by putting forward a phony-bologna initiative that sounds like it protects solar. It doesn’t protect solar. What – the things they claim protect solar are protections you already have. But they trying to fool you into amending your state constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and just kill the solar industry.

Now, this is a question – Our democracy has been hacked and the utilities – the fossil utilities here have spent more than $20 million to try to pull the wool your eyes. And $20 million can buy a lot of wool. So Amendment 1 would benefit the incumbent fossil fuel companies here in Florida by making it harder for homeowners to go solar.

Now, let me close by returning to my second message. The stakes in this election simply could not be higher. You will often hear people from podiums like this one say something like that at election time. I know; I’ve heard it. I’ve even said it before. But honestly, to those of you here and those within the – who can hear my voice by whatever means, this election really matters. The world is on the cusp of either building on the progress and solving the climate crisis, or stepping back, washing our hands of America’s traditional role as the leader of the world and letting the big polluters call the shots.

The choice is that clear. It’s that stark. The consequences for not just our children and grandchildren and future generations, but for all of us, are really quite significant. So because of that, please take it from me: Every single vote counts. Every single vote counts. If you are not registered to vote, do so today. If you are on the fence about whether to vote, remember what is at stake in this election. And if you think your vote does not matter, take it from me, your vote can make all of the difference in this election.

Vote early. Vote early and don’t let your friends sit this election out. Early voting begins here in Dade County on October 24th and in several other parts of Florida it begins on October 24th. If you have any confusion whatsoever about where you vote or whether you’re registered or whether you are going to the right polling place, visit iwillvote.com –iwillvote.com. Say it with me: iwillvote.com. One more time. Iwillvote.com.

Now, if you want to be really in touch with this election process and get really involved in taking other people to the polls, there’s a –if you like to text, then text ‘climate’ – the word ‘climate’ – to this number – 47246 – and you’ll get updates. You’ll get the information you need. And then even on Election Day you’ll get updates on your polling place. So remember, text ‘climate’ to 47246. Say it with me: 47246.

All right. Now, in closing, I’ve made two points. The climate crisis must be a top priority. We must have a president who gets it, who cares about it, who’s internalized it, who’s passionate about it, who’s determined to lead our country, and with our country to lead the world at the key moment when we really do have the opportunity to solve this climate crisis and make our country stronger and more prosperous at the same time.

My second message is – you know what it is – every vote counts. That’s why I am here and that’s why I will vote for Hillary Clinton. I know that my vote counts. I know that your vote counts. I hope you will consider carefully the future in making your decision this November or beginning when early voting starts when you go into the ballot box.

Together, we have the opportunity to look back on this year as a time when our nation finally chose to answer the alarm bells on the climate crisis and went into action to solve it. I know that there are still some who doubt in their hearts that we as human beings and we as Americans have the ability to bring about such a big and important change. Do we have the capacity? I’ll remind you that the will to change and build a brighter future is itself a renewable resource. Let’s make Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States of America.”


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