The big news from the Clinton Global Initiative conference today was that Richard Branson, the eccentric founder of Virgin group, joined the billionaire philanthropist club with a pledge to donate $3 billion over the next 10 years to anti-global warming initiatives. The money accounts for all of the profits from his transportation and airline businesses, he said.
But the political story of the day was Al Gore’s performance during a Global Warming panel. (The sartorial story was his weird, dominatrix-y black leather boots.)
On a stage at the Sheraton in midtown, in front of Mr. Clinton, Tom Golisano, Colin Powell and hundreds of representatives from the business, donor and non-profit community, Mr. Gore delivered an impassioned speech that brought the audience to its feet and had people chattering about what a great President he would have made — and maybe could still make.
“This crisis is the by far the most dangerous we have ever faced in the entire history of human civilization but it also provides the greatest opportunity,” he said with increasing volume. “We are coming together as a Global civilization in our lifetime we have to get our act together and this climate crisis, may, I believe, does, gives us the opportunity to rise, to gain the moral authority and gain the vision not to become the self-destructive, selfish generation, but to become the next greatest generation.”
Clinton then made sure that Gore stood next to Branson when the billionaire announced his donation to the whole crowd. Gore, conspicuously elated as he signed his name with Clinton onto the pledge, said that it was “like the old days.”