It's been six months since the surprise hit movie and book An Inconvenient Truth transformed Al Gore from the man who, as he puts it, "used to be the next President of the United States" to global warming's archenemy.
Now, as the DVD hits holiday shelves, the former U.S. Vice President tells National Geographic News podcast correspondent Patty Kim whether he'll run for President in 2008, how you can fight climate change, whether he practices what he preaches, and yes, whether he'll grow back the beard.
First of all, what would you like me to call you?
Okay, sounds good, that'll roll off my tongue.
I'd love to know where you're sitting right now, what the view is from where you are. I'm sort of picturing you in a very green building, you know, eco-shelter type of thing with drapes made out of recycled sail cloth or something. How far off am I?
Well I'm actually in the St. Regis Hotel looking out on the San Francisco Bay. I just returned with my wife, Tipper, from a week in Australia and New Zealand where Australia's enduring a drought [said to be the worst in a thousand years], by the way, and the movie An Inconvenient Truth has had a big impact in Australia and New Zealand.
Personally, how tough do you find it to live a green lifestyle?
I think it's harder for people than it should be. But as more and more of us become carbon neutral and change the patterns in our lives to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, we are now beginning to see the changes in policy that are needed.
And some businesses are providing important leadership. Paramount [Classics film studio] for example, has made the DVD of An Inconvenient Truth out of 100 percent recycled materials—no plastic, no inserts. And they're walking the walk, instead of just helping me talk the talk.
But what about you in your daily life, what kinds of little things do you do?
Well, we've changed the lightbulbs to the more efficient kind [compact fluorescent, or CFL, lightbulbs] and switched to a hybrid [vehicle], and we use clock thermostats, and we're installing solar panels.
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