Gore, who won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to raise awareness about climate change, also calls for a carbon tax, though he acknowledged that passage does not appear to be imminent.
"Well, I wouldn't go to Vegas and bet on it right now," he said. "But neither would I say that it's impossible ... The day has passed when we can use the earth's atmosphere as an open sewer."
"Yes it's tough, because we've been relying on these fossil fuels for 150 years. But the cost of solar and wind is coming down rapidly and energy efficiency saves money while it reduces pollution," he said. "And we need to move in that direction quickly."
Gore, who represented Tennessee in the U.S. Senate and House before he was tapped by President Bill Clinton as his running mate, blames procedural rules in the Senate for blocking popular measures.
"I fully appreciate the virtues of the filibuster, but it's gotten so out of control that I do think that it needs to be dialed back significantly," he said. "It has been abused to the point where American democracy is paralyzed.
"Nothing can pass the Senate that is opposed by special interests," he said. "And that's not right."
Gore points out in the introduction of his book that as a "recovering politician," the chances of his returning to public office become slimmer the more time passes. Gore won more popular votes than George W. Bush in the 2000 presidential contest, but was defeated in the electoral college after the Supreme Court stopped a hotly debated recount in Florida.
So the book shouldn't be seen as a "manifesto" for a future political campaign, he writes in the book.
But he's not shy about making a series of policy recommendations.
"We should have more progressive taxation, we should have higher inheritance taxes. I've always believed that," Gore said. "I advocated that during my political career and I continue to advocate it."
"We need to restore our democracy, we need to reform markets so they operate the way they're supposed to," he said. "And the U.S. leadership of the world needs to be restored."