Yesterday I went with my friend Rena to see Al Gore speak at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman. I was truly impressed, first by the incredibly warm reception he received from the crowd (press reports estimate that 7,000-9,000 attended, and OU President Boren said that the crowd was a record for hearing a speaker at OU, breaking past records for when Gorbechav and Margaret Thatcher spoke on campus) but secondly by the presentation itself. Gore did an excellent job of speaking about one of the most pressing issues of our time and also made a few adaptations to the presentation to address some of the specific ways that global warming will affect Oklahoma (his slides on the loss of soil moisture were particularly frightening).

For the most part though his presentation was a updated version of what you see in the movie An Inconvenient Truth

I also was very glad to see Gore praise the city of Norman for endorsing the Kyoto treaty (one of about 300 US cities to do so) and to praise the OU campus for their commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

As for the crowd estimates, I think they may have been understated. The Lloyd Noble Center seating was packed for about 2/3 or more of capacity (they had to have three projector screens to allow the whole audience to see the presentation).

Here’s some of the press reports about the event…

Oklahoma Daily (OU student newspaper): Gore fills LNC Gore Speech Highlights OU Focus On Global Warming Debate evening with Al Gore Former VP enthralls audience with speech — Al Gore’s remarks about global warming draw at least 7,000. Roof of clay —Gore’s home not so green? (Editorial) — I’ll address this in a separate post. Should Gore declare candidacy? (very disturbing to see how quickly the idea of civil debate goes out the window these days. Is it that people are lazy or just too stupid to actually discuss the substance of an issue without resorting to ad hominen attacks?) Gore speech highlights OU focus on global warming debate