NPR : News

Filed Under:

Al Gore: It's An Honor To Be Attacked On Climate Change

"There's a long tradition of people who don't like a particular message turning to attack the person delivering the message," former Vice President Al Gore just said on NPR's Talk of the Nation.

That's why, the 2000 Democratic presidential nominee added, "I view it as an honor, really," to be the target of Republican jabs on the issue of climate change.

He went on to accuse those who express the loudest doubts about whether humans are contributing to climate change of "doing exactly the same thing that the tobacco industry did after the Surgeon General's report came out" linking smoking to cancer. "They hired actors and dressed them up as doctors and gave them scripts" saying that smoking isn't harmful. Today, said Gore, "carbon polluters" are paying for climate change doubters to say similar things.

Gore has been making the media rounds this week to talk about The Climate Reality Project, "24 hours of reality" that starts streaming on the Web today at 8 p.m. ET. Gore's project says that:

"Each hour people living with the reality of climate change will connect the dots between recent extreme weather events — including floods, droughts and storms — and the manmade pollution that is changing our climate. We will offer a round-the-clock, round-the-globe snapshot of the climate crisis in real time. The deniers may have millions of dollars to spend, but we have a powerful advantage. We have reality."

He was on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report Tuesday night.

Earlier this summer, on the pages of Rolling Stone, Gore made the case that the news media has not been a good "referee" in the climate change debate between "Science and Reason" in one corner and "Poisonous Polluters and Right-wing Ideologues" in the other.

He also wrote that President Obama "has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change."

Talk of the Nation host Neal Conan and NPR Political Junkie Ken Rudin also asked Gore about his one-time supporter, current Texas governor and Republican presidential contender Rick Perry, who worked for Gore's 1988 presidential campaign.

As he did on Colbert, Gore said "it would probably hurt [Perry] In the Republican primaries if I said good things about him. ... I do remember him and I appreciate his support back at that the time when he was a Democrat. ... I don't know what's happened to him since."

NPR's John Burnett reported last week that Perry is among the "global warming doubters" and has said "the biggest source of carbon dioxide is Al Gore's mouth." Perry argued in his book Fed Up that "the complexities of the global atmosphere have often eluded the most sophisticated scientists."

Gore, in turn, told Talk of the Nation that "97 to 95 percent of all the climate scientists in the world who actively publish in that field [climate change] are in agreement on this."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Under The Streets Of Naples, A Way Out For Local Kids

A priest in Naples' tough Sanità neighborhood has put local kids — some from mob families — to work restoring underground catacombs full of early Christian art. The result? 40,000 tourists a year.
NPR

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Impatient gardeners don't have to wait for summer to harvest salad fixings. A surprising variety of crops will bring homegrown produce to your table in as little as three weeks.
NPR

Holy Bible Could Become Louisiana's Official Book

Lawmakers have proposed a bill that would make the Bible the state's official book, but critics say it is unconstitutional and would open Louisiana up to legal challenges.
NPR

When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

Parents often complain that smartphones keep their kids distracted from conversation. What happens when it's the other way around, when kids can't get their smartphone-glued parents' attention?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.