In his new book “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change,” former Vice President and Nobel winner Al Gore draws upon his background and observation of the world to identify six issues causing the degradation of the modern world. These “six drivers” are economic globalization, worldwide digital communications, emerging sources of power that are causing a U.S.-centered system power shift, unsustainable economic growth, genetic and biotechnological advancement that is redefining the natural course of human life and evolution, and the disruption of earth’s ecosystems. Gore asserts that because of these drivers, the world is becoming more linked together and is collectively on a downward path of degradation. However, he writes, by analyzing these problems there is potential for change and changing the course of the world. Although these six problems are each given a chapter in his book, Gore also covers topics ranging from cows in Switzerland that text their owners when it’s time to breed, to genetic enhancement and population growth and income equality issues in the U.S.
Critics have said that Gore’s new book addresses too many topics and only offers vague solutions for the identified problems. Many have also pointed out that although Gore may consider himself a visionary of environmental and economic change, his recent $500 million sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera is hypocritical. Gore has criticized U.S. media corporations for accepting advertising dollars from big oil, yet Al Jazeera’s owner is the emir of a Middle East country enriched by oil money.
How does he explain the inherent contradiction? How accurate are Gore’s predictions? Is he truly a visionary, or does he fall short in offering concrete solutions to the world’s problems?
Al Gore, former Vice President and author of "The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change" (Random House); chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit devoted to solving the climate crisis. His previous books include "Earth in the Balance," "An Inconvenient Truth" and "The Assault on Reason." He is a co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.