09/18/2006 05:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Al Gore: Look at Our National Dipstick

"It is time for a national oil change. That is apparent to anyone who has looked at our national dipstick."
- Al Gore, September 18 at the NYU School of Law

Lots of detractors and naysayers have turned from questioning Al Gore's powerful case that global warming is upon us to saying that he has no solutions. Well, no one can make that argument anymore. Gore today demonstrated his knowledge of and passion for solving the global waming problems that are upon us. And, in a major speech at the NYU School of Law, he presented the solutions in ways that both liberals and conservatives can find reasons to proceed -- moral imperatives, free market incentives, and leadership from our government.

Oh, yes, he made the issue about security and fear -- what the White House and Congress understand so well -- as well as the hope and promise most Americans crave. Gore chides our leaders, "[M]any Americans are tired of borrowing huge amounts of money from China to buy huge amounts of oil from the Persian Gulf to make huge amounts of pollution that destroys the planet¹s climate." But he also lifts us up, "'Make no little plans,' one of our most famous architects said over a century ago, 'they have no magic to stir men¹s blood.'"

First, immeditately freeze CO2 emissions and begin reductions. California has done it and so have 295 American cities.

Second, join the Kyoto Treaty. "The absence of the United States from the treaty means that 25% of the world economy is now missing. It is like filling a bucket with a large hole in the bottom ... Many American businesses that operate in other countries already have to abide by the Kyoto Treaty anyway, and unsurprisingly, they are the companies that have been most eager to adopt these new principles here at home"

Third, recognize that the answer is not found in a silver bullet but in "silver buckshot." Two Princeton professors have identified 15 to 20 building blocks that can make a difference even if only 7 or 8 of them are used. A few of the most important building blocks are:
a. eliminate the energy it takes to make energy and to transport it
b. change our transportation infrastructure, switching to new flex fuel, plug-in, and hybrid cars
c. reduce deforestation
d. pursue renewable sources of energy -- biomass, wind, solar
e. new building designs drawn from innovative engineering and architecture
f. place a price on the CO2 pollution that is recognized in the marketplace -- eliminate all payroll taxes ­ including those for social security and unemployment compensation and repleace that revenue in the form of pollution taxes, ­principally on CO2. The overall level of taxation would remain exactly the same.

At the end of yet another summer with record-breaking heat and concluding the warmest twelve months on record in the US, it's time to follow Gore's leadership. As Scientific American said in its special edition this week, "The debate on global warming is over."

For the full speech, go to: