On Thursday evening, Al Gore's new documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival to a standing ovation.
"We're going to win this," Gore told the crowd after the screening. "No one can stop it... One option is to feel despair, but despair ultimately is just another form of denial. The other option is to expand the limits of what is politically possible."
The only audience question was about Gore's Dec. 5 visit to Trump Tower after Donald Trump was elected president.
Here's what Gore said about the meeting:
I've tried to protect the confidence of that conversation in case I need to have some more [with him], but it’s not the last conversation. And I will tell you, over the years there have been a lot of people who started out as deniers and have changed over time. Whether [Trump] will or not remains to be seen. I’m not going to go into any of the specifics of that conversation out of respect — I went for eight years as vice president and never divulged any private conversations with President Clinton, and I’m more comfortable not giving you a read-out of the specifics. Two days after that meeting, he appointed someone to head the [Environmental Protection Agency] that I don't think should be heading the EPA, but this story has many chapters yet to unfold here.
We’re in a real battle here, and it’s a challenge for all of us to really comprehend how high the stakes are — I mean, it’s beyond any scale that we’re used to thinking about. Don't worry, I'm not going to go too far down that road. But we have to really step back, take a deep breath, and say, 'This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue — it’s an ethical issue, it’s a spiritual issue.'
Who are we? Are we a pathetic, self-interested, short-sighted species whose run on the planet will soon be over because we destroyed ourselves? I refuse to believe that. We have limitations and we have short-term motivations, and we all know that, but we also have something else inside of us. We have the capacity to rise above our limitations. Now whether or not Donald Trump, inaugurated tomorrow, will take the kind of approach that continues this progress, we’ll have to see. But let me reiterate: No one person can stop this. It’s too big now. We are shifting. We are going to win this.