February 2, 2007 3:41 PM PST

Gore to Silicon Valley: You can save this civilization

SAN JOSE, Calif.--A new scientific report on global warming should remove any doubts that the climate crisis is fact and that humans are largely to blame, former Vice President Al Gore said Friday, urging Silicon Valley to take the lead in solving the problem.

"Today is a day to let the science speak for itself," he said at the State of the Valley economic conference held in San Jose and sponsored by the Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network. "It's as close to certain as scientists are ever willing to say."

Click here to Play

Video: Al Gore: Silicon Valley can save Earth
Former Vice President Al Gore says the investment and innovation that built the high-tech and biotech industries is now needed for green.

The report Gore referred to was released earlier on Friday in Paris and concluded that global warming is "unequivocal" and that human activities are the main culprit.

The crisis is unprecedented, with humans stretching the limits of earth's resources to dire consequences, he said. The evidence is everywhere--fish being fished to extinction, rising levels of carbon dioxide concentration depleting the ozone, overflowing waste dumps and polluted waters, earth and sky, he said.

This climate crisis presents business with its greatest opportunity ever, particularly Silicon Valley companies, Gore said.

"The work already done in information technology, computational science, biotechnology and other specialties that are present in this valley, more than any other place in the world, are going to be the most valuable resources" to combat the crisis, he said. "Just as information technology changed the world, clean tech and green tech right here based in Silicon Valley...you can chart the course and save the future of this civilization."

The Joint Venture Silicon Valley Network released an annual report at the conference, the Silicon Valley Index, which concluded that the economy in the area had recovered, with its first significant job increase since the dot-com bust about six years ago. The report also found that venture capital funding awarded to clean technology firms increased 266 percent last year, with investments of about $300 million by the third quarter alone.

"Technology is the key to giving us enough leverage to change the pattern that is now causing the climate crisis. The old and traditional patterns by which a new suite of technologies replace the old has to be examined and changed," he said. "Government policies can play a significant role, but the most significant role will be played here by you."

Gore, whose related documentary, An Inconvenient Truth was first screened a year ago, predicted that there will be time to avert total disaster. "We have enough time" to solve the climate crisis.

Asked why he thought the White House questioned the scientific report findings, Gore said, "It's not as if the oil lobby has too much influence in the White House. The problem is the oil lobby is the White House."

He also laid to rest any questions about whether he might be a presidential candidate again soon. "I don't have any plans to run for president. I'm involved in a different kind of campaign."

See more CNET content tagged:
Silicon Valley, San Jose, biotechnology, Al Gore, vice president

23 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
It's already been done...
But the Clinton-Gore administration cancelled it. The Integral
Fast Reactor (IFR). See the Wikipedia article. Or is nuclear energy
STILL scarier than climate change even after the latest report
from Paris?
IFR- uses 99 percent of the uranium instead of 1 percent
passively safe- the power shuts itself off if cooling is disrupted.
This was demonstrated twice on the same day in 1986 in a real
prototype of the reactor.
Keeps and destroys virtually all the long-lived waste within the
reactor core, leaving waste that becomes less radioactive than
the original ore after 300 to 500 years.
The fuel cycle as designed and built can't be used to divert
fissile material for bomb making.
Not saying we need to go all nuclear, just partly. It would be a
good, already-developed non-CO2-emitting baseload while the
other alternative technologies are being developed.
We already have about a 4000 year supply of fuel sitting around
from prior mining and refining activities. At the moment, all we
do with it is shoot it at armored vehicles.
Posted by billmosby (536 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Agreed, the IFR was good - but why stop there?
The IFR was certainly an example of technology that can make a
direct contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions. By recycling the fuel, it demonstrated directly the lie
that nuclear power plant leftovers must last for millennia.

My thought, however, is to go much farther with the technology
made available by the discovery of self-sustained nuclear fission
- which, by the way, occurred within a decade of the
development of the semi-conductors that turned a fruit orchard
area into Silicon Valley.

As billmosby pointed out, even "depleted" uranium is a potential
fuel source, but so is the "spent" nuclear fuel that has been
carefully stored near the first and second generation power
plants currently in operation, and so is thorium, an abundant
material whose use in nuclear reactors is proven but not
widespread. My favorite source of nuclear fuel today, however, is
from existing nuclear weapons - turning that threat into power
is such a beneficial activity. It reduces the potential of two
different kinds of "Doomsday" - nuclear war and global climate
change.

Though I like the IFR and I like third generation plants like
Westinghouse's AP-1000, GE's ABWR, or Areva's EPR, I am
leading the development of a really exciting fourth generation
system called the <a href="#">Adams Engine (TM)</a>.

It is based on the German developed pebble bed reactors, but it
is simpler, smaller and has a much lower unit cost than the
Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) project in South Africa.

By focusing on smaller units, we believe that we can overcome
some of the limitations of current generation plants - our
machines are not just central station electricity generators, they
can be used for certain kinds of vehicles (ships) in the near term
and we hope to fit them into ever smaller vehicles as we gain
experience.

We even have long term hopes of reviving an old school idea
from the 1950s called <a href="#">Aircraft Nuclear
Propulsion</a>. Fission holds huge, and nearly unlimited
promise as a real contributor to a global effort to reduce global
greenhouse gas emissions.

Rod Adams
Editor, Atomic Insights
Co-host, The Atomic Show Podcast
Founder and CEO, Adams Atomic Engines, Inc.
Posted by Rod Adams (74 comments )
Link Flag
Yawn...
Nothing to see, politics as usual...
Posted by mbenedict (1001 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Al Gore is The Man !! - Face it Cons
This guy is trying to save the planet, while the cons rob it, poison it and rape it.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.impeachbush.org" target="_newWindow">http://www.impeachbush.org</a>
Posted by geekpro (38 comments )
Reply Link Flag
HA,You gotta be kiddin'
Al Gore is a loser looking for fame and fortune.Another Al Sharpton..he'll be there if a camera crew will be there. Scare tactics like the 39 cubic miles of ice melting in Greenland that FAILS to inform us that the 39 cubic miles of ice would raise the sea level a whopping 1/64th of an inch....these jerks were either blind or mathematically challenged...or more likely being paid by someone to dissiminate PHONY SCARE TACTICS
Posted by BustaScammerNow (17 comments )
Link Flag
Global warming is a fraud
The earth still hasn't fully warmed up since the last ice age. There's still permafrost since the last ice age. It hasn't melted yet.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
that doesn't make things better
So there is permafrost that hasn't melted yet, that does not make things better or prove that the planet has not fully warmed from the last ice age. How much permanently frozen ice existed between the last two ice ages?

- Permafrost patches (areas that never ever thaw) are being found thawed to perma-mud.

- Iceland which has had permanence glaciers since it's discovery has watched it's permanent glaciers melt.

- Mountain range glaciers which have not been seen to shrink have recieded.

What's this "earth hasn't fully warmed up" stuff all about? We've already exceded the highest temperatures found between the last three ice ages.
Posted by jabbotts (492 comments )
Link Flag
Nobel prize
And the Nobel Prize for War goes to....George W. Bush!!!!
Posted by bjman (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Hmm. I wonder why it was warmer in the Middle Ages than today?
I wonder why it was warmer in the Middle Ages than it is today? Were there ancient cars driving around? Or was it part of a natural cycle of warming followed by an ice age, followed by warming?

And, hey, since China has 16 of the top 20 polluting cities in the world, why isn't Gore lobbying the Chinese to work on _their_ emission controls first?

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2007/01/pelosis-global-warming-witch-hunt.html" target="_newWindow">http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2007/01/pelosis-global-warming-witch-hunt.html</a>
Posted by directorblue (148 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Natural + manmade
Sure, it has been warmer than now more than once in the past.
As we add more CO2, we just add more to the high side of
natural temperature fluctuations. Could be a good thing to
counteract downward natural fluctuations such as what has been
referred to as the "mini-ice-age" that occurred after the warm
period you mention.
At some point, however, we may be able to load the atmosphere
with so much CO2 (if we add it faster than natural processes
remove it, or if we get temperatures high enough so that some
of the positive feedbacks become significant) that we do cause a
problem. Since fossile fuels will become in short supply in the
not too distant future, might as well start working to transition
off of them now since it really is an almost intractable problem
and will take much longer than a lot of people think.
Posted by billmosby (536 comments )
Link Flag
You've been exposed to misinformation
Hi,

It IS true that there was a short-lived warming period during the Middle Ages. However, that period was nowhere near as warm as today.

In the last 1,000 years (which includes the entire Middle Ages), the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred in the last 20 years. 2005 was the hottest year on record (have not seen 2006 stats). So it is warmer (much warmer) today than in the Middle Ages.

The "natural cycle" theory is comprehensively blown away by data from Antarctic ice cores covering the last 650,000 years - I suggest you watch the first 20-30 minutes of "An Inconvenient Truth" to see the details. (This is the only reference I have conveniently to hand. The book that accompanies the movie has detailed references).

Gore has already visited China many times. The Chinese standards for car fuel emissions are already much higher than in the US - again, see the movie. And China has a target of 20% of its power being from sustainable sources by 2020.

The US alone contributes over 30% of the entire world's greenhouse gases. So while there is a lot of hype about China's pollution and growth, I respectfully suggest every American have a look in their own back yard instead of assuming "if the other guy would just shape up, everything would be fine"!
Posted by abootha (1 comment )
Link Flag
'hmm I wonder why It was warmer in the middle ages' guy
I didnt think there were too many of you 'half-truth'mongering ,patronising AND ignorant 'annoyingy hindrance to sensible progress,person'types still out there,people like you are going to feel very isolated when the 'bleeding obvious'hits you painfully between the eyes.Unfortunately, the minor satisfaction of -'I told you so'-is countered by the fact that global warming and all it implies, affects by very definition,all of us, and I would rather avoid the worst of that( by getting bogged down in the 'blame game') and get on with enacting the solutions to avoiding the worst outcomes of climate change.Unfortunately ,for a lot of us ,we have reached such a 'dark shade of blue in the face ,through being starved of the fresh air of political action on this urgent global matter,that we could all end up in a more literal sense,with an oxygen starved planet and in some discomfort.
Posted by lezstar (4 comments )
Link Flag
get off Middle east oil
From middle east to south America Mad men with oil
If we don't next time you look up filling your car or truck look for the nuke from one these countries.
Only time the world will love us again is by thinking are way out of destruction and stop killing all life on this world. And if you need a history lesson remember the silk and spice war that lead to the crusades. only when we found a new way to Asia did it stop . We the human race need to think ourself out it destruction. So let Gore have his say. Last time i look he didn't get billions in bonuses for making us slaves of mad men.
Posted by cohaver (189 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ANSWER IS HERE
Search "
Posted by BustaScammerNow (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ANSWER IS HERE
Search "Global Warming is not about Climate" either the Jay Lehr version or the Henry Lamb version,and you will realize that the media is handing us a line of malarky to bring down the American economy. I wonder who is paying them for the PHONY news reports and just how much.
Posted by BustaScammerNow (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.