WAMU 88.5 : The Diane Rehm Show

Al Gore: "The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change"

Al Gore believes we are at the dawn of a new future. The former vice president and Democratic presidential nominee claims we’re living in a time of revolutionary change unmatched in history. In a new book, he says we’re racing toward a future that is both complicated and different from anything we’ve seen before. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has identified what he believes are six forces remaking the world, from economic globalization to the digital revolution to -- no surprise here –- climate change. The self-identified “recovering politician” joins Diane to talk about the changes facing our world and his vision for the future.

Video: Inside The Studio

Al Gore addressed questions about the 2000 presidential campaign, including whether he and Tipper Gore would still be married if he had won the election. Gore cleared up a common misconception and said he requested a full recount of Florida's votes. The request, Gore says, was denied by the state's governor, who "had a point of view in that race." Gore also talked about how he felt when Bush v. Gore was awarded in favor of President George W. Bush. "Well, you can imagine, it was a surprise," Gore said about the high court's decision. "Some expected it. I felt they were being too cynical. I really felt there was an excellent chance that it would go the other way, but it didn't."

Gore discusses the reinvention of life and death thanks to innovations in DNA. He gives an example in which scientists were able to splice genes from orb-weaver spiders into goats, who then secreted silk from their udders along with milk. Gore said many people describe these genetic mutations, though valuable, as "creepy." Diane pointed out that many people call Gore "wonky," to which he replied, "I plead guilty to being a wonky wannabe geek."

Gore addressed a caller's statement that Sept. 11 could have been prevented had the FAA and intelligence agencies adopted the recommendations of the aviation safety commission that Gore headed while in office. One of the suggestions included a system to automatically catch people on FAA watch lists before they boarded an airplane. "Not many people know what your caller has just said, but it is actually the case. If the recommendations of that commission had been implemented, it would have almost certainly prevented the ability of those hijackers to get on the plane," Gore said.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from "The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change" by Al Gore. Copyright © 2013 by Al Gore. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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