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In this quote, Al Gore is sharply criticizing America’s patterns of spending and foreign policy regarding energy. He notes that the U.S. borrows money from China to purchase oil from the volatile Persian Gulf region, yet the primary use of that oil is to fuel activities (like driving and energy production) that contribute to climate change and threaten “the future of human civilization.”
Gore suggests this approach is short-sighted and unsustainable. By borrowing to import fossil fuels that damage the environment and security, the quote argues the nation’s economic and energy policies are undermining its long-term interests and global leadership on issues like climate change.