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Think Out Loud

An Hour With Al Gore

Pete Springer/OPB

Al Gore is a very busy ex-vice president.

He’s received an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, his most visible and multi-platform push. But he hasn’t exactly been a shrinking violet when it comes to some of the other big questions of our time. In the last few years, in a series of prominent speeches, he’s taken on President Bush for what he saw as abuses of executive power. And he’s lambasted the media, arguing that the marketplace of ideas has been destroyed. (And he even entered the media fray himself with Current, an online and TV experiment in citizen journalism and viewer participation.)

The questions he raised in those appearances still reverberate.

After outlining what he saw as America’s long history of war-time executive branch over-reaches, Gore remarked that “in each of these cases, when the conflict and turmoil subsided, the country recovered its equilibrium and absorbed the lessons learned in a recurring cycle of excess and regret.” Where are we in that cycle now — and what have we learned?

If our overall media climate means that “American democracy is in grave danger,” as Gore noted four years ago, are blogs and other two-way adventures true paths to a thriving participatory democracy or just more entertaining distractions?

And on climate change — the focus of Gore’s upcoming An Inconvenient Truth sequel — how exactly can the issue be “depoliticized”?

Al Gore will join us for an hour-long special. What do you want to ask him?

Note: This show was recorded in front of a live audience at OPB on Wednesday, November 18th from 5-6 pm. To see photos from the event check out the OPB Events Flickr page.

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