Over the weekend, Al Gore caused somewhat of a stir down in San Antonio for refusing to allow the media to cover a speech he was giving to architects who are also adherents to his global warming gospel.
Thankfully for open dialogue, a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News crashed the party. Unfortunately for reasoned dialogue, the reporter, Anton Caputo, failed to report the event with any sort of skepticism, almost falling over himself to praise the veep-turned-envirovangelist.
Playing equal parts visionary, cheerleader and comedian, Al Gore brought his message of how to fight global warming to a capacity crowd of receptive architects Saturday in San Antonio.
The former vice president referred continually to a "new way of thinking" that is emerging in the country and offered hope in the battle to control the effects global warming will have on the planet.
"It's in part a spiritual crisis," Gore told the crowd in the Convention Center at the American Institute of Architects national convention. "It's a crisis of our own self-definition — who we are. Are we creatures destined to destroy our own species? Clearly not."
Global warming is the heating of the Earth caused in large part by man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Most scientists agree such warming and the changing climate that comes with it will likely cause a number of problems and crises this century, particularly in developing countries that have few resources to combat the effects.
These looming problems involve flooding and severe coastal erosion from rising seas and increasingly severe storms, more common and prolonged drought, and changes in the growing seasons and migration patterns of many wild species.
Gore told the architects they are in a unique position to help solve the problems by continuing to push building standards and methods that conserve energy and water. The message was in line with the focus of this year's AIA conference, titled "Growing Beyond Green."