During Al Gore’s short-lived bid for the presidency in 1988, he spouted so much information about global warming, ozone depletion, and chlorofluorocarbons that critics began to suggest that he run for ”national scientist” instead.
Four years later, Gore has refashioned his statistic-heavy speeches into a compelling meditation about the future of the planet. Since becoming the Democratic party’s nominee for vice president, his best-seller, Earth in the Balance, published in January, has generated new interest for what it tells us about Gore’s approach to the issue. No longer content to flaunt his command of information, and impatient with quick-fix solutions, Gore writes compellingly about the complex roots of the environmental crisis in economics, psychology, philosophy, and religion. Needless to say, environmentalists weary of specious jobs-versus-owls debates are ecstatic that an ecologically literate politician is making the fundamental link between our economic and environmental security.