Posted by: Helen Walters on March 03, 2008
TED rounded off with a party at the aquarium and then, the following morning, presentations from economist Paul Collier, former Vice President Al Gore and Africa activist, Bob Geldof. All seemed a bit freaked to be coming at the tailend of such a whirlwind conference. But they needn't have worried. They were pretty great, too. And then everyone left Monterey slightly reeling to head back to reality. Or, as one conference goer said to me, "I've got a TED-ache."
We'll be running a recap/story within the Innovation section tonight for those who haven't (sacrilege!) been hanging off my every word while I've been feverishly blogging. Here's a version for those of you (lovely, clever people) who have been keeping up with the blog:
The real world seemed far from the conference hall in Monterey. No mentions of looming recession or impending economic meltdown, while politics, too, were off the agenda. Not for everyone – Harvard professor (and advisor to Barack Obama), Samantha Power both wore a button touting her man, and made direct reference to the candidate in her speech -- to notably muted reception. But curator Chris Anderson himself introduced the topic in a brief question and answer session in which he asked Gore directly about the climate policies of the would-be Presidential nominees. Gore showed his diplomatic stripes.
“We should feel great about the fact that both the Republican nominee and both finalists in the Democratic race have very different and forward-leaning positions on the climate crisis that are very different from the current administration,” he said. Then he took the gloves off, calling investments in oil companies "subprime carbon assets". “Have you noticed that the debates have been sponsored by Clean Coal? What? “Now Even Lower Emissions”?” Acknowledging his own business stakes in clean energy providers, he called for no more coal generated plants to be built in the United States, and urged active citizens to change lightbulbs – and laws.