Here is how the poem begins:Nuance. You know how I feel about nuance.
One thin September soon... Gore wrote [the poem]... because his editor nixed his request to include a separate chapter on the impacts of climate change. After all, Our Choice is supposed to be about solutions... Undeterred by his editor’s ruling, Gore re-imagined his impacts chapter in poetic form.
A floating continent disappears
In midnight sun
Vapors rise as
Fever settles on an acid sea
The result is a surprisingly accomplished, nuanced piece of writing.
The images Gore conjures in his (untitled) poem turn a neat trick: they are visually specific and emotionally arresting even as they are scientifically accurate.So it seems Gore is trying real hard to be the shepherd:
Snow glides from the mountain... [T]he final lines of Gore’s poem certainly apply to the governments that will gather in Copenhagen from December 7 to 18 for what is regarded as humanity’s last chance to avert absolutely catastrophic climate change.
Ice fathers floods for a season
A hard rain comes quickly
Then dirt is parched
Kindling is placed in the forest
For the lightning’s celebration
The shepherd criesIs Gore himself that shepherd? No matter. What counts is that the hour of choosing has indeed arrived and, as documented in Our Choice, we do have the tools to survive—if we choose to employ them.
The hour of choosing has arrived
Here are your tools
And we will know that he is the lord when he lays his vengeance upon us. Us sheep.