[E]ven in his fabulously wealthy, I’m-not-a-Washingtonian-anymore phase, Gore is still a policy wonk, of course. He may be a trendy, 50-pound-lighter vegan these days, and wear the all-black uniform of the Silicon Valley gurus who have become his peers. But the former vice president still geeks out when talking about the “cost-down curve for photovoltaic electricity,” his solar-powered houseboat and the infuriating refusal of the news media and the Republican Party to acknowledge the climate change gorilla in the room.
And the new Al Gore is just as steamed as the old Al Gore about the lack of clear progress in combating global warming, a failure that clearly eats at him. When I ask Gore in a two-hour interview in his Nashville office—the longest he’s given since last summer—how he would describe his job, he says, “I want to catalyze the emergence of a solution to the climate crisis as quickly as possible. Period.”