Marilyn Cornelius

Al Gore and the Magical Elephant

Al Gore was at Stanford on April 23 to give a lecture on the climate crisis and the democratic crisis. He was also there to honor a friend.

Gore was there for my late mentor, advisor, employer, and intellectual father, Stephen H. Schneider’s memorial lecture and bench dedication.

Steve left us unexpectedly on July 19, 2010. He was one of the world’s most brilliant and intrepid leaders on climate change science and risk assessment. He continues to lead through all who were touched, uplifted, and transformed by him. I’m fortunate to be one of them.

I know I’ve been spoiled by Steve. I seek his caliber of leadership everywhere and find it sorely lacking.

At Gore’s lecture, I sat and absorbed his eloquent summary of cutting-edge research on symptoms such as extreme weather events and drought that show how the climate system is failing. I heard him make scathing remarks about how badly American democracy has been “hacked.”

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