Al Gore: AU/US “Bonnie and Clyde” Environmental Outlaws

crossposted at Daily Kos and Truth & Progress

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If you’ve seen the movie Bonnie and Clyde, you’ll remember the stylish Faye Dunaway as Bonnie Parker and Warren Beatty as the roguish Clyde Barrow.  Parker and Barrow were Depression-era bank robbers in the American heartland who captured the attention of many around the country with their daring exploits in the 1930’s.  You also know how the movie ended. 

Upon arriving in Sydney, Australia yesterday, Al Gore blasted the environmental policies of both Australia and the United States.  Will the AU-US partnership in blocking meaningful change to combat the problems posed by Climate Change hold up and for how long?

Gore is trying to cause a split between ‘Bonnie’ (Australia) and ‘Clyde’ (United States) and explicitly suggesting that being an outlaw can, ultimately, be harmful to your environmental health.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, here’s what Gore said in a speech yesterday

The former US vice-president Al Gore says a change of policy by Australia to support the Kyoto Protocol would be the final nail in the coffin of the Bush Administration’s opposition to the climate change treaty.

Addressing a $1000-a-head business lunch at Darling Harbour, Mr Gore used one of his favourite lines – describing Australia and the US as “Bonnie and Clyde” environmental outlaws – as he launched a passionate attack on the climate policies of John Howard and George Bush.

He called on Australia to change course, saying if it did, “it would be impossible for the United States to withstand the pressure” to join the rest of the world in ratifying Kyoto.

A Passionate Al Gore Blasting the Environmental
‘Axis of Evil’ Yesterday in Sydney, Australia

Gore’s trip, only a few weeks before the expected Australian elections this coming November, raises a couple of interesting questions

* What specifically are Gore’s objections to this unholy partnership between Australia and the United States? 
* Can Gore, through his scathing criticism of the Australian government headed by conservative Prime Minister John Howard, cause a change in governments in the next election? 

A bit of background on Australian politics.  The Australian government, led since 1996 by Liberal (read: conservative) Party Prime Minister John Howard, has been a part of the coalition of the bribed and coerced in Iraq since 2001.  Additionally, along with the Bush Administration, it remains adamantly opposed to reaching a “post-Kyoto accord” on Climate Change.  The opposition Labor Party, led by Kevin Rudd, has promised full cooperation on such an accord.  And, has been leading 55%-45% in the latest poll, though Howard’s party remains optimistic that it can win the election which must be held by mid-November.  Is this interference in another country’s upcoming elections?  Gore, obviously, hasn’t commented on that aspect on his trip but given his low opinion of Bush’s environmental and Iraq policies, I’m sure it would give Gore great satisfaction in seeing a Bush ally go down to political defeat. 

The Melbourne Herald Sun, the country’s biggest-selling newspaper, reports that Gore will attend a major environmental forum tomorrow in Melbourne, where he’ll meet with additional Labor Party leaders.  The environment figures to be a major issue in the election

Tomorrow’s forum at Docklands features speakers discussing sustainability issues such as transport, water and energy.

Australian of the Year Mr Flannery will feature in a session about the pressures on ecosystems, highlighting eroding hotspots around the world and strategies to reduce negative impacts on biodiversity.

(Labor’s Environmental Spokesman, Peter) Garrett said Labor had promised to fund a $50 million Australian Solar Institute and provide $10,000 low-interest loans for green home improvements such as solar hot water systems.

Commenting on reports about the extraordinary loss of arctic sea ice this summer, Gore added this is his Sydney speech

“In the last three weeks, the amount of ice melting at the Arctic has been completely unprecedented,” he said.

“In six days, an area the size of the US state of Florida disappeared. The week before that, an area almost twice the size of Britain disappeared… the experts are saying if we don’t act with urgency and dispatch, the entire polar ice cap could be completely gone in less than 23 years.”

One observer said the former vice-president spoke with “missionary zeal”.

Raising his voice almost to shouting, Mr Gore said: “It’s about survival.”

Memo to Al Gore: after you’ve accomplished your mission in Australia, come back to the United States as soon as possible.  The other outlaw partner of this environmental ‘Axis of Evil’ could use some tough love.  We desperately need regime change here as well as a proven, experienced, and visionary leader providing sorely-needed leadership on issues such as Climate Change, Iraq Occupation, and restoring this country’s economy.  You’ve provided leadership before and you can do it again.  Otherwise, we’re going down like Bonnie and Clyde.

As you said after the 2000 Election

“If I had to do it all over again, I’d just let it rip,” Gore said a year ago. “To hell with the polls, the tactics and all the rest.  I would have poured out my heart and my vision for America’s future.”

Indeed, “let it rip,” Al.  This is your moment in our nation’s history.

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  1. … wins the upcoming November elections in Australia, it’ll be a move forward for environmental causes.  And may put enough pressure to cause change even right here at home. 

    Tips for Al Gore — causing regime change “one regime at a time.”  Thanks.

    ps: check out this blog post by a Republican voter who feels guilty about supporting Bush in the 2000 Election.  He thinks Gore will run and win in 2008.

  2. from the effects of global warming as Australia, which is currently in the midst of their worst drought in 1000 years:

    The drought has set off a fierce political debate in Australia about climate change. The country has maintained, with the US, a sceptical stance on the issue, and Mr Howard has refused to sign Australia up to the Kyoto agreement. However, polls suggest he is increasingly out of step with public and scientific opinion and the drought has forced him to demonstrate concern.

    … UN figures showed that Australia’s emissions of greenhouse gases were the highest per capita in the west, apart from Luxembourg, and that they had grown by 1.5 tonnes a head since 1990.

    Australia now emits almost as much carbon and other greenhouse gases as France and Italy, which each have three times its population.

    Good timing by Al, coming on the heels of Bush’s visit.  The Aussies are more than ready for a change after ten years of Howard’s corporatist policies, and a strong reminder of the reasons for the devastation they are experiencing will hopefully help bring that change about.

    • SallyCat on September 21, 2007 at 6:09 am

    I was originally not sure about an Al Gore run in 2008. But after watching all the wussy, wimpy stuff by the current candidates…I’m for  Al Gore then Chris Dodd.

    Al Gore is standing strong and he’s taken some pretty amazing ‘heat’ from Bushco and the MSM on global warming. I admire his strength…including kicking AU in the butt!

  3. seriously, i’m going to be feeling very let down if he doesn’t toss his hat in.

  4. the same ballot…I really trust Kucinich, but my hope (and America’s) is that Gore runs, as he’ll get the media attention, and therefore the votes, while Kucinich will be ignored by most…

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