KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — People must become more concerned with the effects of exploding technology and world population, Sen. Albert Gore said Tuesday.
In a speech at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Gore told UT students that people see themselves as somehow detached from the Earth. He called on them to change the way they relate to Earth’s problems.
”The percentage of salt in our blood is almost the same as the amount of salt in the ocean,” he said. ”The percentage of water in our bodies is about the same as the percentage of water to land in the world.
”We are of nature and we have a unique responsibility.”
Gore, author of ”Earth in the Balance,” said the population explosion is particularly threatening. In his 44 years, Gore said the world population has grown from 2 billion to 5.5 billion.
”We’re adding the entire population of Mexico every 12 months. If I live to be 88, Earth’s population will reach 10 billion at the present rate of increase,” Gore said.
Population and technology are threatening the Earth’s natural resources, he said. Chloroflourocarbons, first invented 60 years ago are causing dramatic changes in the stratosphere by eating holes in the ozone layer, Gore said.
Because of CFC’s, which are used in disposable cups and air conditioning and refrigeration systems, the air in an average room has 600 percent more chlorine atoms than it did 60 years ago, Gore said.
Air pollution from an automobile’s internal combustion engine is also a problem.
”All the air pollution from oil-well fires in Iraq on the worst day is less than 1 percent of what we put into the air (from auto exhausts) on a single day,” he said.
Gore’s visit was sponsored by the Environmental Law Association and the Master of Business Administration program.