photo via flickr
The climate change movement is bigger than any one man or woman, but like it or not, no one is more associated with global warming than Al Gore. He's spoken with a prophetic voice for decades about the importance of action, but the country has yet to heed his advice. Climate skeptics and deniers often take shots at Gore, but it was he who shot back this past week at an event hosted by the Aspen Institute's Forum on Communications and Society.
Real Aspen reported Gore's comments, in which he compared the climate denier machine to that employed to trick the American public about the safety of cigarettes:
The model they innovated in that effort was transported whole cloth into the climate debate. And some of the exact same people -- by name, I can go down a list of their names -- are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists, to pretend to be scientists, to put out the message: "This climate thing, it's nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn't trap heat. It may be volcanoes." Bulls--t! "It may be sun spots." Bulls--t! "It's not getting warmer." Bulls--t!
And there are about 10 other memes that are out there, and when you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you. The same crap, over and over and over again ... There is no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened. People have no idea! And yet our ability to actually come to a shared reality that emphasizes the best evidence ... It's no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the goddamn word "climate."
Gore, of course, is completely right. A few examples to to help illuminate his point:
--Deniers are likely behind the complete nonsense of so-called Climategate, a classic technique to discredit the messengers while ignoring their message.
--This Congress, much of which is bankrolled by fossil fuel interests, is working on cutting funding for the EPA just when the agency is preparing to finally go after the coal sector in a meaningful way.
--The coal industry has spent tens of millions of dollars trying to deceive the American public into believing that the age of coal is here to stay, and that the country has no other option to power its schools, places of worship, and businesses.