Guest column by Al Gore following his speech at the Abu Dhabi summit on climate change this week
Ladies and Gentlemen, this week I’ve flown from California to Abu Dhabi with a clear message for all of you: stop flying as much and reduce your carbon emission.
Bangladesh, China, Philippines – can you imagine what our planet would look like if all your citizens lived in a 20-room mansion, like mine in Tennessee, complete with butler, manicured lawns and imposing view over the exclusive, outrageously wealthy Belle Meade neighbourhood?
Or, Kenya and Thailand, imagine if all your citizens kept a luxurious apartment like mine at San Francisco’s St. Regis hotel apartments? That would be millions of luxurious apartments, each eating away at the earth’s natural resources. Is that the future you want for your children?
Ladies and Gentlemen, we can do better than this.
Imagine the destruction to mother earth if everyone in the world owned millions of shares, like me, in Apple Computers – a company consistently picketed by Greenpeace for the vast amounts of toxins it pumps into Chinese air and rivers?
Isn’t there a better way than this?
That’s why I’ve flown by private jet from California to this week’s UN climate summit in Abu Dhabi – a 20 hour flight, to implore you to reduce your carbon emissions and live frugally.
Yes, Bangladesh and Kenya, you may have poverty and I envy you for it – because it’s a simple way of life that we in the west have regrettable lost. You are the lucky ones.
Yes, I am paid more than $200,000 for public appearances, to add to my $200 million, but am I really richer walking away from Abu Dhabi?
It is you, playing simple games with tyres and sticks in your rundown shanty towns, who have the real wealth.
So, people of the world, live frugally and sustainably. I’m writing a letter to the UN to demand action – written right here from the deck of my 100ft-long solar-powered houseboat. It’s time for the world to change.