If science is prediction, then Al Gore has some explaining to do. Gore the presidential candidate has more explaining to do relative to his climate alarm. But private citizen Gore, with an enormous CO2 footprint, can claim to be a tree hugger after all.
With his star shining over COP28 this week, it is timely to revisit Gore’s pronouncements and prognostications in all three areas.
Gore as Prophet
Albert Arnold Gore Jr. (1948–), according to Wikipedia, “has been involved with environmental work for a number of decades” (“Environmental activism of Al Gore”). In 1976, the 28-year-old U.S. Representative held the “first congressional hearings on … global warming” (“Timeline: Al Gore,” The Guardian, October 2007.) And what did he say decades ago versus now? Answer: doom-and-gloom, with repeated warnings of a “climate emergency” and a “last chance.” The message has been the same ever since, raising the question: What is the statute of limitations on climate alarm?
Here is a sampling of his barks over the decades:
“Earth’s Fate Is the No. 1 National Security Issue,” Washington Post (May 14, 1989)
Humankind has suddenly entered into a brand-new relationship with the planet Earth. The world’s forests are being destroyed; an enormous hole is opening in the ozone layer. Living species are dying at an unprecedented rate…. [This] will call for … a Strategic Environment Initiative.
Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit (New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992)
The potential for true catastrophe lies in the future, but the downslope that pulls us toward it is becoming recognizably steeper with each passing year. . . . Sooner or later the steepness of the slope and our momentum down its curve will take us beyond a point of no return. (p. 49)
An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It (Emmaus, PA: Rodale, 2006)
Not only does human-caused global warming exist, but it is also growing more and more dangerous and at a pace that has now made it a planetary emergency. (p. 8)
At stake is the survival of our civilization and the habitability of the Earth. (p. 11)
Renewable Energy Speech (2008)
Today I challenge our nation to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years…. To those who say 10 years is not enough time, I respectfully ask them to consider what the world’s scientists are telling us about the risks we face if we don’t act in 10 years.
Gore as Presidential Politician
During his chase for the U.S. presidency in 2000, climate was no longer a major concern. Noted the Washington Post in “Gore’s Greenness Fades”:
As he runs for president, environmentalism has yet to emerge even as a central organizing principle of Gore’s campaign–never mind his plans for civilization. Instead, improving the quality of air, land and water–an issue Gore once spoke of with almost spiritual fervor–has been at the margins of his race for the White House.
“Gore the Policy Apostle can utter statements that most colleagues would regard as wildly impolitic: calling for elimination of the internal combustion engine by 2020 or denouncing excessive consumerism in Western nations as evidence of a “dysfunctional civilization,” authors John F. Harris and Ellen Nakashima continued. “Gore the Politician, say some of these people, is prone to brooding over the electoral risks of his beliefs.”
And when gasoline prices were high, shifty Al stated:
I have made it clear in this campaign that I am not calling for any tax increase on gasoline, on oil, on natural gas, or anything else. I am calling for tax cuts to stimulate the production of new sources of domestic energy and new technologies to improve efficiency. (Bennett Roth, “Gore Drops Fuel Tax Proposal, Introduces Credit Incentives,” Houston Chronicle, June 29, 2000).
After the election, it was back to misdirecting and moralizing about the climate issue, which he asserted “is not ultimately about any scientific discussion or political dialogue” but “about our capacity to transcend our own limitations to rise to this new occasion.” (An Inconvenient Truth, p. 11) Sure thing, Al….
Gore as Private Citizen
In an expose in the UK Daily Mail, earlier this year, “How Al Gore has made $330m with climate alarmism: Former VP made a fortune after losing to George W when he set up a green investment firm now worth $36BN that pays him $2m a month… as he warns about ‘rain bombs’ and ‘boiling oceans’,” Paul Farrell goes over Gore’s wealth trajectory and conspicuous consumption (such as multiple mansions).
The leader of what is now called the climate-industrial complex stands in sharp contrast to the real environmentalists, many of whom are fighting against wind and solar installations near their homes in the U.S. and in Europe.
Climate barker Al Gore has been exaggerating for nearly a half-century. Without any mid-course correction, he is naked to the world. COP28’s effort to keep the Paris Climate Accord alive, itself a response to the failed Kyoto Treaty of 1997, is a ruse against reality. As Gore’s mentor James Hansen has noted:
It’s a fraud really, a fake.… As long as fossil fuels appear to be the cheapest fuels out there, they will continue to be burned.
Midcourse correction, anyone?