Gore scores media, Obama on climate change

June 22, 2011 at 7:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 22 (UPI) -- Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore chastised the news media and President Barack Obama for their handling of the climate-change debate.

Writing in the July 7 issue of Rolling Stone magazine, Gore compares those who question whether human activity is causing global temperature increases to people who believe professional wrestling is real, saying the struggle to pass legislation to cap and tax carbon emissions and other pollutants is a battle between "Science and Reason" on one side and "Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues" on the other.

Gore compared the news media to a wrestling referee who "seems confused about whether he is in the news business or the entertainment business."

"Is he responsible for ensuring a fair match? Or is he part of the show, selling tickets and building the audience?" Gore asked

He said the media are distracted by sensational stories he called a "list of serial obsessions … too long to enumerate here."

Gore said the "scientific consensus" on man-made global warming is even stronger than on the linkage between cigarettes and lung cancer but that Obama has given up on climate-change legislation, without which global civilization will effectively be committing suicide.

"President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change," Gore writes. "After successfully passing his green stimulus package, he did nothing to defend it when Congress decimated its funding. After the House passed cap and trade, he did little to make passage in the Senate a priority.

"Senate advocates -- including one Republican -- felt abandoned when the president made concessions to oil and coal companies without asking for anything in return. He has also called for a massive expansion of oil drilling in the United States, apparently in an effort to defuse criticism from those who argue speciously that 'drill, baby, drill' is the answer to our growing dependence on foreign oil. …

"President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has simply not made the case for action," Gore writes, saying the failure to pass legislation to limit global-warming pollution will doom future generations.

"Here is the truth: The Earth is round; Saddam Hussein did not attack us on 9/11; Elvis is dead; Obama was born in the United States; and the climate crisis is real. It is time to act," Gore said.

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