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Your all Holiness,

I would like to welcome you to the United States and, in particular to the South. My own home is in Nashville, not far from New Orleans.

From the days when I first addressed you as the Green Patriarch, our paths have crossed many times but we have both kept our course, struggling for a better future for our planet with the hope that our efforts will not fail.

Never has it been more imperative to act than now.

Never before have the dangers been so great, nor the opportunities so vast.

And still, we know, although much has been achieved, the bulk of the work still lies ahead of us.

Often we think how long will we have to fight? Why are the people in charge not responding with the urgency required?

It turns out that raising ourselves above the personal interest is much harder than we thought.

Your All Holiness, your perseverance in this struggle is demonstrated yet again by this waterborne Symposium.

As Martin Luther King said, “Let’s not become silent about things that matter.”

Al Gore

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