What happened
Former vice president Al Gore on Thursday challenged the United States to shift all of its electricity production to carbon-free wind, solar, and geothermal power within 10 years. He said the switch would solve the problems of global warming and high energy prices at the same time. (San Francisco Chronicle)

What the commentators said
This sounds like “a typical, idealistic Al Gore idea,” said E.J. Dionne Jr. in The Washington Post. But it points a country that guzzles too much fuel “down the right path.” It also gives his Democratic colleagues some “oomph” to counter the Republican call for more oil drilling as the cure for high gas prices.

It’s also “more than a little crazy,” said Neal Dikeman in CNET News' Green Tech blog. Gore’s call for an effort akin to John F. Kennedy’s push to put a man on the moon was almost stirring. But the technology isn’t there yet, and the costs would be staggering.

Gore says we can pay for the change with a carbon tax, said Eoin O’Carroll in The Christian Science Monitor’s Bright Green Blog. But “Democrats are finding Gore’s timing to be inconvenient, as Americans seem to be more concerned about rising energy prices.”

There are several ways Gore could improve his sales pitch, said John Tierney in The New York Times’ TierneyLab blog. He could throw nuclear power into the equation, for example. And he could show he means business by turning down the thermostat at his own house, which burns 20 times as much energy as the average home.