Al Gore Talks Climate Change, the Role of Money in Politics at the IOP

• May 13, 2014

The Chicago Maroon By: Christine Schmidt

Former U.S. Vice President and environmental activist Al Gore spoke on topics ranging from Common Sense to Citizens United on Monday evening at a talk sponsored by the Institute of Politics (IOP) and hosted by the Chicago Theological Seminary.

...Though the main focus of his talk was climate change, Gore highlighted the political climate as a roadblock to confronting change in the environmental climate. He criticized the Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court—“with whose decisions I don’t always agree,” he noted—as an “obscene” transgression against the United States’s democracy.

Gore said that money in politics can prevent ordinary people from impacting democracy as the founding fathers intended. “If Thomas Paine walked out his front door in Philadelphia today and went down to the nearest TV station…and said ‘I’ve got this 90-minute video called Common Sense, it’s going to change history, when do I go on the air?’ [he would be told] ‘You don’t go on the air,’” Gore said to laughter from the audience. “You get very wealthy people who can pay the gatekeepers  – who can pay the rent to get access to the public discourse.”

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