Since 2000 -- when he won the popular vote for U.S. president, but Supreme Court conservatives gave the White House to George W. Bush -- Gore's life has veered:
He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental work; he won an Academy Award for a climate-change documentary; he was divorced and now is involved with a wealthy California scientist; his personal wealth soared to an estimated $300 million, boosted recently by the sale of his cable TV channel to Al Jazeera.
Gore calls himself a "recovering politician" and says he probably won't have a "relapse." He is focused instead on crusading for human betterment.
"American democracy has been hacked," Gore's book says, and Congress "is now incapable of passing laws without permission from the corporate lobbies and other special interests that control their campaign finances." Washington is dominated by "the industries most active in purchasing influence -- financial services, carbon-based energy companies, pharmaceutical companies and others."
The result, he says, is "ever-increasing inequalities of income and growing concentrations of wealth, and the paralysis of any efforts at reform." He adds:
"Virtually every news and political commentary program on television is sponsored in part by oil, coal and gas companies." Meanwhile, those fossil-fuel industries spew "90 million extra tons of heat-trapping global warming pollution every 24 hours" into the sky, dooming the planet to worse storms, droughts, floods, sea rise and other perils.
Reviewing the book, London's Guardian concluded: "Gore believes a planetary civilization is emerging." But many complicating stresses will affect it.
Frankly, we don't think The Future provides a clear forecast of the future. But at least it offers plenty of powerful factors to ponder.