"This is what is happening now all over the world," he said. "We've had 10 of the hottest years ever measured in the last 13 years."
Speaking before about 550 people at Wayne State University, Gore compared the rejection by many people of scientists' predictions about climate change to bankers ignoring signs of a mortgage crisis in the years leading up the 2008 recession.
Warmer air holds more water vapor, which has caused larger and more widespread heavy storms, he said. For example, the scale that measures the strength of hurricanes and tropical storms goes through 5, but scientists are considering adopting a 6th level to accomodate fiercer storms, he said.
Listen to the scientists.
Gore said 97 or 98% of scientists actively researching climate agree that the science is sound on the changes that are taking place. "Imagine you had serious chest pains and were able to consult the top 100 heart specialists and 98 of them told you what the best medicine was," he said. "But two of them said, 'we're not so sure'. Who would you believe?"
Have to make it real for people. Bring it down to everyday life. Mention little things like this:
Forget about super-sizing into the trenta a few years from now: Starbucks is warning of a threat to world coffee supply because of climate change.
In a telephone interview with the Guardian, Jim Hanna, the company's sustainability director, said its farmers were already seeing the effects of a changing climate, with severe hurricanes and more resistant bugs reducing crop yields.
The company is now preparing for the possibility of a serious threat to global supplies. "What we are really seeing as a company as we look 10, 20, 30 years down the road – if conditions continue as they are – is a potentially significant risk to our supply chain, which is the Arabica coffee bean," Hanna said.
No Starbucks. Are you listening now, people?
Colombia is in its fourth year of weather-related harvest shortages, and now Brazil, which supplies a third of the world's coffee, is facing the same problem. Add that to "rising demand from emerging markets" (read: China and others) and we are looking at a $20 grande in our lifetime.
Tell 'em Al. Tell 'em before it's too late. Some of us need our coffee.