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Al Gore Heats Up

Men’s Journal – June 2017

By Hillary Rosner

Onstage, in a basement ballroom of the Colorado Convention Center, Al Gore is getting fired up. He’s gray-haired now, a bit thicker around the middle, but the capacity crowd hangs on his every utterance. “Our democracy has been hacked!” the former vice president declares. “The polluters have found ways to take control of the policy-making process — but the ultimate power still lies with the people!”

At a table in the back of the ballroom, John Cubelic sits forward and nods. He’s traveled from Alabama for this. A 29-year-old former wide receiver at Auburn University, Cubelic is tan and ripped, with a shaved head and a crisp white shirt. Back home in Birmingham, he’s starting a craft-whiskey distillery — hardly the ­stereotype of an environmental activist.

But neither are many of the 972 others packed into the Denver ballroom for the kickoff of Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps training — a three-day boot camp for the next generation of warriors in the battle against climate change. Cubelic, like nearly everyone here, believes climate change is the most important issue of his lifetime. His plan is to make the distillery a showcase of sustainability, with recycled water and solar panels, as well as a community hub and engine for green growth in the deeply red South. “The conversation where I live,” he says, “is climate change is caused by gay marriage. Or, at best, you’re talking about saving polar bears.” Read more.