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Saturday, June 03, 2006


The new Al Gore - The man who was "elected" by the people in 2000

The Hay Festival * Lord Rees on "Humanity's defining moment"

As he, himself, tells it he "used to be the next president of the United States". Many of us wince because there is truth in that. Al Gore looks good, and sounds good. He stands head shoulders above the current incumbent of the White House who has made America a mean-spirited nation, and who is despised by people in most of the countries in the world.

The Guardian, a venerable British newspaper, organizes the annual Hay festival. "Hay is a tiny market town in the Brecon Beacons National Park, It has 1500 people and 41 bookshops. The Festival is a spectacular holiday party for friends to gather and indulge their tastes for the finest books, food, drink, comedy, music, art, argument and literature."

This year the festival began on May 26th and will end June 4th. Mr. Gore appeared there on May 30th and spoke about global warming and climate change. Later, in an interview with Jonathan Burkman and Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian, he made one of his sharpest attacks on the Bush presidency, describing it as "a renegade band of rightwing extremists". We have seen the emperor without his clothes; "rightwing extremist" is an understatement.

Al Gore's candidacy in 2008 is uncertain. At this point we don't know if he would throw his hat in the ring ? But the more one listens to the new Al Gore the more attractive he appears to be. He can provide the balance between the Democrats who seem too willing to shift to the right, become Republican Light, and the firebrands.

Lord Rees, head of the Royal Society of Britain, was another distinguished guest who spoke at Hay. "Humanity has reached a "defining moment" in our dominion over the planet and our ability to destroy it, according to the head of the Royal Society, Britain's premier scientific institution. "The 21st century is the first in the Earth's history where one species has our planet's future in its hands and could jeopardise life's immense potential," Lord Rees told an audience at the Hay festival yesterday."
  • The eminent physicist, who is Astronomer Royal, said scientific advances had made it much easier for individuals to commit devastating acts of terror on a much greater scale than 9/11, using for example biological weapons.
  • "In a global village there will be global village idiots. And with this power, just one could be too many," he said. These might not be fundamentalists, but those with the mentality of a computer virus designer or arsonist, he added. "Even a single person will have the capacity to cause massive disruption through error or through terror. We are kidding ourselves if we think that technical education leads to balanced rationality."

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