Al Gore: Obama a Climate Disappointment

There's no real change from the Bush era, ex-VP complains

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 22, 2011 12:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama "has thus far failed to make the case for bold action on climate change," Al Gore complains in a massive op-ed for Rolling Stone. In the piece, Gore bemoans a political environment in which “what is true and what is false is being attacked relentlessly” and a media apparatus that has behaved like “an entertainer selling tickets to a phony wrestling match.” Politicians, he complains “fall into the same two categories: those who cheerlead for the deniers, and those who cower before them.”

Then he pauses to consider Obama—a “special case.” Though he praises some of Obama’s climate efforts, Gore recounts the disappointments: standing by when Congress "decimated" the funding for his green stimulus package and calling for a huge expansion of drilling. And his failure to hustle to get cap-and-trade legislation passed "ensured that the much-anticipated Copenhagen summit on a global treaty in 2009 would also end in failure." Obama has not explained how real and severe the crisis is, nor has he made the case that we must act. "Without presidential leadership that focuses intensely on making the public aware of the reality we face, nothing will change."

Al Gore speaks to an audience of young people at Free the Children's We Day celebrations in Kitchener, Ontario, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011.
Al Gore speaks to an audience of young people at Free the Children's We Day celebrations in Kitchener, Ontario, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Geoff Robins)
Vice President Al Gore speaks to an audience of young people at Free the Children's We Day celebrations in Kitchener, Ontario, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011.
Vice President Al Gore speaks to an audience of young people at Free the Children's We Day celebrations in Kitchener, Ontario, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Geoff Robins)
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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. - Al Gore

What we are doing is functionally insane. If we do not change this pattern, we will condemn our children and all future generations to struggle with ecological curses. - Al Gore

Even writing an article like this one carries risks; opponents of the president will excerpt the criticism and strip it of context. - Al Gore, noting that he
still 'supports and admires' Obama

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