Before entering Congress in the 1970’s, Gore worked as a journalist, and that background is evidenced in this readable work. Gore has long had an interest in ecological issues and knows personally many of the scientists and investigators who have discovered and warned about such issues as global warming, the deteriorating ozone layer, deforestation, the population explosion, and the addictive material consumption which has exhausted natural resource and polluted the earth. He argues that humankind has lost touch with the natural world, that something transcendent has been lost in the divorce which has occurred between the exploiter and the environment. Unmitigated disaster will result—unless we have the determination and foresight to change our lives.
As a politician, Gore is aware of the difficulties of bringing about the necessary changes. However, he argues that it can be done through the creation of what he calls a Strategic Environment Initiative, roughly modeled on the post-World War II Marshall Plan. Through both public and private actions, he believes humanity can be persuaded to reverse short-term gratification in favor of long-term thinking and planning. In this earth-saving endeavor, Gore argues that the United States must take a leadership role. There is no alternative, for us or for our children and their children. This is a most wise and timely book and deserves a wide readership.