Insane Al Gore Urges US to
Follow Britain's Example on Global Warming
By Kevin Mooney
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
March 22, 2007
(CNSNews.com) - Partisan differences over global warming in the United States do not exist in the United Kingdom, where Tory and Labor Party members are advancing measures to address the "climate crisis," former Vice-President Al Gore said on Wednesday.
Gore pointed to Britain as an example of bipartisan cooperation that will be needed to avert a pending "planetary emergency" brought about, he says, by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.
Unless action is taken, global warming will jeopardize the survival of civilization and the "habitability of the Earth," Gore said as he testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
It was Gore's second appearance of the day before a congressional panel. Earlier Wednesday, he testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. (Gore, careful of appearances, arrived on Capitol Hill in a new hybrid sports utility vehicle, press reports said.)
Gore argued that a strong "consensus" has emerged within the scientific community that human activity is the primary cause of global warming. However, he was challenged on that point by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the committee's ranking minority member and a leading skeptic of the theory that mankind is to blame for a warming planet.
Inhofe cited peer-reviewed studies that are "radically at odds" with the claims of Gore and others who see a link between global warming and human activity. The Oklahoma Republican noted that a number of scientists who previously embraced "alarmist" positions are now convinced "climate variability is largely natural."
Inhofe named Claude Allegre, a French geophysicist; Nir Shaviv, an Israeli astrophysicist; and Reid Byron, a meteorologist, as recent converts. Inhofe also said a number of Canadian scientists have written to their prime minister to express misgivings about the Kyoto Treaty based on new scientific data.
But Gore disagreed: "There is no longer serious debate over the basic points that make up the consensus on global warming," he testified. Moreover, the scientists who are involved with the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claim that the evidence of human-induced global warming is "unequivocal," Gore said.
The former vice president said he sees a parallel between his struggle to end human-caused global warming and the film "300," which depicts the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 B.C. "It's great story of courage, when a few made the decision for the many," he said. A similar challenge now falls to the current generation and the current U.S. Senate, Gore added.
The ten warmest years on record have all been since 1990, while from a global standpoint, 2005 was the hottest year of all, Gore claimed. He also said the winter of 2006-07 has been the warmest on record.
Gore sharply contrasted the global warming debate in the U.S. with what he experienced during a recent trip to Great Britain. In addition to meeting with Labor Party officials, Gore said he also met with the "entire front bench" of the Tory party.
There is no argument between the two major parties in Great Britain over the scientific evidence, Gore told committee members. Although they are "competing vigorously" with one another, they are vying to see which party can offer the "most creative and meaningful" solution to the "climate crisis."
Global warming should be viewed in the U.S., not as a political issue, but as a moral issue, just as it is in Britain, Gore argued. "I look forward to the day when we can return to this way of thinking here in the U.S.," he added.
Gore outlined a number of policy changes he believes would alleviate the dangers associated with global warming. For instance, he called for a "freeze" on carbon emissions and changes in the tax code that would cut taxes on employment in exchange for the creation of pollution taxes.
Gore is pressing the U.S. government to sign onto the Kyoto Treaty, and he hopes to move up the timetable for the next treaty by two years, to 2010 from 2012.
Inhofe, in his opening statement, argued the cost of the Kyoto Treaty would amount to the largest tax increase in history, ten times more than the Clinton-Gore tax increase of 1993.
'Lead by example
Project 21, a conservative black leadership network, issued a press release urging members of Congress to inquire about Gore's own "lavish energy consumption." (The Tennessee Center for Policy Research recently reported that Gore's mansion in Nashville uses more than 20 times as much electricity as the average household.)
Sen. Inhofe asked Gore, as a believer in human-caused global warming, to take a pledge that by March 21, 2008, he will consume no more energy for use in his home than the average American household uses.
The pledge included the phrase that "leaders on moral issues should lead by example."
Gore did not agree to take such a pledge, however. He told Inhofe, "We live a carbon-neutral life, senator, and both of my businesses are carbon-neutral... we do not contribute to the problem that I am joining with others to solve."
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the committee chairwoman, complained that Inhofe -- in asking Gore a series of "yes" or "no" questions -- was not allowing him to give complete answers.
"Would you agree to let the vice president answer your questions?" she asked the senator. Then, in a dig at Republicans, Boxer said, "You're not making the rules. You use to do this, but elections have consequences."
Several Democratic senators defended Gore's position, including Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who criticized Inhofe for describing global warming as a "hoax." Lautenberg cited evidence from the left-leaning Union of Concerned Scientists that supported Gore's position.
Lautenberg also said he fears that global warming will "cost lives" over the long term unless steps were taken by current policymakers.
Nature on the run
"Nature is on the run," Gore told committee members. He expressed concern about recent sightings of manatees off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. Although the marine mammals normally live in South Florida, Gore believes the climate is becoming too hot for the species.
Future generations will look back to the "hopeful time of 2007," Gore said, and either they will ask, "'What in God's name were they doing? Didn't they see the evidence, didn't they hear the warnings? Didn't see the north polar ice cap melting?' Or, they will ask, 'How did you find the moral courage to cross party lines and solve this crisis?'"
Gore singled out the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act (S.309) for special praise. The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), seeks an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gas pollutants by 2050.
Sen. Boxer told Gore, "I believe your work has made all the difference for the future of our planet and for our children and grandchildren." She also cited the IPCC report, saying it confirmed the connection between human activity and global warming. Boxer criticized those who claim the report is not actually written by scientists.
As Cybercast News Service previously reported, the IPPC Summary for Policymakers, roughly 20 pages long, is primarily the work of political appointees, not of scientists, according to some climatologists and policy analysts. Moreover, the full text of the report -- the detailed findings -- has yet to be released.