While addressing the World Business Forum in New York last week, former Vice President Al Gore spoke of the world “entering a period of consequences,” with the climate crisis being the “most dangerous crisis we have ever faced.” He cited the record setting heat and extreme weather events around the world in recent years, including the flooding of the “Grand Ole Opry” in Nashville, as examples of what’s going on.

Among the causes of the problems we face, Mr. Gore pointed to business models and the power of technology, including the “short termism” of Wall Street — where transactions take place in microseconds and people tend not to think or care about the “long term.” He also mentioned the world’s population which has quadrupled in the last 65 years and the need for smaller families, through the empowerment of women and fertility management.

Mr. Gore’s analysis and facts about climate change appear to be accurate, however he contradicts himself — in an important area, by advocating for smaller families as part of the solution. In other words, if the climate crisis came about because people failed to think and act in a holistic and organic way, then how can the solution be found in “managing” the size of families inorganically?

Bottom line, governments need to recognize the relationship that exists between economic, environmental and security interests, and work for a sustainable future with deeds and not just words.

Photograph: Stephen Wise