Why are these two very prominent and very important national and international leaders advocating breaking the law to force action on climate change? Because without extreme measures, we are virtually guaranteed of dangerous climate change. The following are three quotes from the guardian’s interview of Al Gore:
"Civil disobedience has an honorable history. When urgency and moral clarity cross a certain threshold, then I think that civil disobedience is quite understandable and it has a role to play," he said. "And I expect that it will increase, no question about it."
Mr. Gore recognized the increased fervor of the contrarians as being attributable to "the sunset phenomenon, where there’s a spectacle just before the subsiding". The phenomenon would see the remaining climate contrarians, moneyed interests, and the like mounting one last campaign to forestall the inevitable climate change prevention and mitigation regulations. Gore says "This self-interest on the part of some of the carbon polluters, who are becoming a bit intense in their efforts, reflects their awareness that public opinion has been shifting very significantly. We have a tendency as human beings to confuse the unprecedented with the improbable. If something has never happened before, we tend to assume it will not happen in the future. [But] throughout history, there have been examples of human societies confronting dire threats, and finding, in their response, that they were capable of more than they thought they were capable of."
We are on the brink of and may have indeed passed into a phase of dangerous climate change. But what exactly is this thing called "dangerous climate change". It is something mankind has never experienced, and that even in ancient pre history, the Earth has never experienced. Sure, it has been warmer on Earth than it is today, but this heat has occurred when the Earth was a vastly different place. Our atmospheric gas composition (oxygen, nitrogen, etc.) was entirely different back then, so was the distribution of the continents across the planet that created an entirely different ocean circulation heat budget. The most important supercomputer modeling climate scientist in the world says that 20 to 40 degrees of warming, given today’s continental configuration and atmospheric gas composition, will evaporate the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. We have 9 to 12 degrees lined up in the conservative IPCC report already in the next 100 years (here) and it is more likely than not that even more will occur beyond the turn of the 22nd century. A long time before we evaporate our atmosphere and oceans into space, our planet will become uninhabitable. This is dangerous climate change.. What are we gonna do?