In a speech spiced with signature phrases like “moral imagination” and “planetary emergency,” as well as plenty of references to future generations, Al Gore warned attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that the climate situation is dire. “The climate crisis is significantly worse and unfolding more rapidly than those on the pessimistic side of the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] projections had warned us,” he said. “There has never been anything remotely like [this planetary emergency] in the entire history of human civilization. We are putting at risk all of human civilization.” Gore also emphasized the need for a worldwide carbon tax and argued that changing government policies is more important than altering personal actions in the fight against climate change. “I think it is really important from a climate change point of view to move away from the idea that personal actions from each of us represents the solution to this crisis. These are important … but in addition to changing the light bulbs it is important to change the laws.”

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