Al Gore visits Melbourne University
20th July, 2015.
The first time I saw an Inconvenient Truth was in my final year of high school, and I was struck. Not only did the science appear completely undeniable but the sense of urgency it brought out in me had my heart racing. 5 years on, seeing Mr Gore in the flesh was a strange mix of emotions. In person, he was as inspiring and compelling as I had imagined he would be, and I felt that I was amidst something powerful. However I also felt unsettled, knowing that this was absolutely not the first time Mr Gore had given this wonderful presentation, and would definitely not be the last. How many more would it take? Under the optimism and motivation, I sensed a note of pleading.
After disappointingly being told that there would not be an open question time, the topic of divestment was niggling on my mind. So many times Mr Gore appeared close to mentioning it, discussing the end of coal and the power of the fossil fuel industry that needed to be quashed, I felt like it was on the tip of his tongue. Although he did not utter the word, I had a feeling of satisfaction knowing that the decision makers of our university were in the same room, hearing and witnessing what we were, and I just hope that they take seriously what Mr Gore said, we are going to win this, so how long is it going to take?
Mr Gore encouraged us to have the moral courage to rise up, and rise up we must, and so should the University of Melbourne and cut ties from the fossil fuel industry.
- Anastasia Gramatikos
Watching Al Gore present his new slideshow was at first the most terrifying presentation I've ever seen, then the most hopeful presentation I've ever seen. However, I was a little uncomfortable with the intense green capitalist agenda that he was pushing, although he pushed it well and with amazing pictures.
I say with no sarcasm that Al Gore's presentation was the greatest slideshow that I have ever seen and will probably ever see. The show began with a stream of facts, graphs, and videos of terrified people running and hiding from a consistent barrage of natural disasters. I felt scared for the people and scared for humanity. About half way through Al switched tact and showed us that we can beat this climate monster, with green technology, a green economy, and by working together. The mood instantly became hopeful and empowering, but there seemed to be a disconnect between what technology can do for us and what our politicians (particularly in Australia) are willing to for us and with us. I don't think that this made his presentation less valuable though, I understand that even though he might not have a political office, he's still a politician and occupies a certain role in the climate change space. Gore's job is to show decision makers that climate change is real and that the world is salvageable, and he did a great job at that. We all have a role to play in the climate change space. For some it's getting the word out there, and for others, such as FFMU, it's action, which I feel even more motivated to do after seeing Al's passion and dedication to the cause.
Watching Al Gore speak was an emotional, terrifying, hopeful, confusingand reaffirming experience, and I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to see such a powerful, charismatic, and influential man speak. I'm only a little disappointed that we didn't get to ask him any questions about divestment in front of the university officials and perhaps make the university administration just a little uncomfortable.
- Jesse Kalic