The fourth edition of the US-India Energy Partnership Summit entitled “Stimulating Technology, Trade and Development”, jointly organized by TERI North America and Yale University was kickstarted with a glittering ceremony at the Washington Marriott today.
Delivering the keynote address at the “Eve of Hope”, Mr. Al Gore, Former Vice President, United States of America & Co-Founder and Chairman, Generation Investment Management, said the crisis of the environment was a crisis of democracy and of capitalism – two systems that are supposed to draw on the “wisdom of the crowds” and ideally drive human development.
In an emotional speech, he said that in tackling the crises of environment and global warming, “We are failing because democracy has been hacked – American democracy has been hacked.” Special interests have hacked it and because of that there can be no change if it runs counter to those special interests. Similarly, he added, “Capitalism has been hacked.” It is driven by quarterly reports and the hedge funds that run on derivatives. Therefore, they are not able to respond to needs of the people and the looming environmental issues, he said. Referring to the United States, he said, “I speak critically of our government; our business are failing us.”
“Both India and the U.S. can take some pride and feel joy,” he added. “Democracy is the destiny of humanity.”
Referring to the Lighting a Billion Lives initiative of TERI, which brings solar lamps to villages without electricity, he called it “a wonderful visionary project.” He added that India is a crucial player in solving the crisis we face.