In response to my rant about Gore on Meet the Press, a certain boss of my acquaintance asked me what questions I would have asked. Here are a few:
- High gas prices have created extraordinary pressure for a short-term political response, which Republicans are providing with their drilling campaign. What is a better political and substantive alternative?
- Why did you do so little to coordinate with other groups and constituencies before giving this speech? Why are you building your own climate operation rather than hooking into or coordinating the many efforts already underway?
- Who has better climate and energy proposals, Obama or McCain?
- If payroll taxes fund Social Security, doesn’t that mean that shifting them to carbon taxes creates a constituency for continuing carbon emissions? What would happen if the tax revenue started declining?
- Getting 100 percent of our energy from non-carbon sources would mean tearing down dozens of existing coal and natural gas power plants. How would you explain that to the American people?
- You have said that nuclear is likely to be a small part of the solution. How big a part do you think coal with carbon capture and sequestration will play?
- In our current political economy, opposition to expanding the use of renewables is centered in coal country, around towns built on coal, coal companies and the legislators representing them. There’s no prospect of that constituency dipping below 40 votes in the Senate. What can be done to persuade them to drop their opposition, or to overcome it?
- How can a nationwide network of underground high-voltage transmission lines be sited and built in 10 years? Would you employ eminent domain and weather the resulting political storm?
- The bulk of electricity is used in the building sector. Why did your speech include no call to remake or retrofit America’s buildings?
- Why are you and your house so fat?
(That last one is for ratings.)
Tell us in comments what you’d ask Gore.