— Al Gore
Context: The disruption of the world's ecological systems — from the rise of global warming and the consequent damage to our climate balance, to the loss of living species and the depletion of ocean fisheries and forest habitats — continues at a frightening rate. Practically every day, it becomes clearer to us that must act now to protect our Earth, while preserving and creating jobs for our people.
And at the very same time that these threats are developing, the traditional nation-state itself is changing — as power moves upwards and downwards, to everything from supra-national organizations and coalitions all the way down to feuding clans. Susceptible to tyrants willing to exploit ethnic and religious rivalries, the weakest of these states have either imploded into civil war or threatened to lash out across their borders.
To meet these challenges requires cooperation on a scale not seen before. A realistic reading of the world today demands reinvigorated international and regional institutions. It demands that we confront threats before they spiral out of the control. And it requires American leadership — to protect our interests and uphold our values.