LAS VEGAS—Al Gore today delivered the closing keynote at the CTIA Wireless 2009 trade show. Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA, delivered opening comments, summarizing some of the show’s highlights.

Largent provided a context for Gore’s appearance at the show, introducing a video that spotlighted environmental initiatives coming out of the wireless industry.

Gore took the stage to a standing ovation and began by offering condolences to the family of Mark Desautels, CTIA’s Wireless Internet Caucus (WIC) leader, who died of a heart attack on Monday.

Then the former vice president started off with a couple of self-deprecating anecdotes about his failed bid for the presidency in 2000. Gore proclaimed himself a “recovering vice president.” While Gore recognized the challenges presently facing the global economy, he expressed optimism that “overall, the picture is extremely bright.”

Citing the wide dissemination of information facilitated by today’s innovative technologies, Gore went all the way back to the printing press to begin a broad history of modern technology which he rendered all the way up to the present.

Gore said he was happy that President Barack Obama has tapped the potential inherent in wireless technologies. “One of the reasons he was able to win was because he was able to use these new communications and devices to raise money,” Gore said.

The talk wouldn’t have been complete without mention and discussion of the current crisis facing the globe. Gore drew a picture that showed how both the environmental and economic crisis are inextricably intertwined, citing the common thread of dependence on fossil fuels.

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