In a speech introducing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday at the New York League of Conservation Voters, former Vice President Al Gore took President Barack Obama to task for his handling of the environment.
Gore also blamed global warming for Hurricane Sandy, which devastated parts of New Jersey and New York. (RELATED: Gore writes that Sandy was a ‘disturbing sign of things to come’)
“On a national level, to use a computer term — our democracy has been hacked,” Gore said. “It no longer functions as it is intended to — to serve the public interests. And when the large carbon polluters and their ideological allies tell the members of Congress to jump, they do say, ‘How high?’ And we need leadership in the executive branch as well.”
“I deeply respect our president, and I am grateful for the steps that he has taken, but we cannot have four more years of mentioning this occasionally and saying it’s too bad that the Congress can’t act,” Gore added. “I know how tough it is. He’s done more in first four years than any other administration has ever done, and I respect that and acknowledge that. But the time has long since passed for us to get moving.”
Gore said the U.S. is uniquely positioned to handle global warming.
“This country is the only nation that can provide global leadership,” he said. “Dysfunctional leadership [globally] is directly related to the dysfunction of the government here in our own country. And ultimately it all comes back to us. Yes, it’s time to act.”