Global warming skeptics fire back at Al Gore

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

Global warming skeptics are hitting back at former Vice President Al Gore, who earlier this week compared them to racists and supporters of slavery.

“Gore is still trying to demonize and smear skeptics as modern racists and generally evil people,” Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot, a global warming skeptic site, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The problem is that the science is revealing Gore to be on the wrong side of history.”

“Al Gore has shown once again why he is seldom let out of his box without adequate adult supervision,” said Myron Ebell, director of global warming and international environmental policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “When he is losing the debate, Gore has always resorted to nasty name calling, so this is just the latest embarrassing instance.”

In an interview with the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, Gore equated his fight against global warming to the struggles against slavery, segregation and apartheid.

Thus disagreeing with Gore about environmental policy is similar to opposing civil rights, gay rights and the end of slavery.

“Once questions are resolved into a choice between right and wrong, then the laws change,” Gore told Klein. “It happened with civil rights. It’s happening now with gay rights. It happened with apartheid and, in an earlier era, with abolition. And this is now being resolved into a question of right and wrong.”

“Well, I think the most important part of it is winning the conversation. I remember as a boy when the conversation on civil rights was won in the South. I remember a time when one of my friends made a racist joke and another said, hey man, we don’t go for that anymore,” Gore continued.

“The same thing happened on apartheid,” he added. “The same thing happened on the nuclear arms race with the freeze movement. The same thing happened in an earlier era with abolition. A few months ago, I saw an article about two gay men standing in line for pizza and some homophobe made an ugly comment about them holding hands and everyone else in line told them to shut up. We’re winning that conversation.”

“The conversation on global warming has been stalled because a shrinking group of denialists fly into a rage when it’s mentioned,” Gore concluding, comparing skeptics to a person with substance abuse problems. “It’s like a family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage every time a subject is mentioned and so everybody avoids the elephant in the room to keep the peace.”

This is not the first time Gore has compared global warming skeptics to racists. The former vice president made similar comments in 2011.

“Secondly, back to this phrase ‘win the conversation,’” Gore said in an interview. “There came a time when friends or people you work with or people you were in clubs with — you’re much younger than me so you didn’t have to go through this personally — but there came a time when racist comments would come up in the course of the conversation and in years past they were just natural. Then there came a time when people would say, ‘Hey, man why do you talk that way, I mean that is wrong. I don’t go for that so don’t talk that way around me. I just don’t believe that.’ That happened in millions of conversations and slowly the conversation was won.”

Gore’s comments come after a leaked report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that there is a 95 percent chance that human activity — mostly from burning fossil fuels — is the main driver behind global warming.

The IPCC reports that global temperatures could rise anywhere between 1 degree Celsius to nearly 5 degrees Celsius this century if no international effort is made to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

However, even the IPCC is having difficulty explaining the 15-year period of flat global temperatures despite rapidly rising carbon dioxide emissions during that same time period.

Reuters reports that the leaked draft “says there is ‘medium confidence’ that the slowing of the [temperature] rise is ‘due in roughly equal measure’ to natural variations in the weather and to other factors affecting energy reaching the Earth’s surface.”

“There has been a slowdown or hiatus in the rate of change of global temperature in the 21st century, and that’s real,” says David Gutzler, a scientist at the University of New Mexico who contributed to the IPCC’s report. “Most of us think that this is probably a temporary hiatus as opposed to a cessation of global warming.”

Gore’s critics are undaunted.

“Global warming skeptics have been basking in scientific vindication on a virtual A-Z of climate claims,” Morano added. “The more Gore makes these comparisons and actually believes his own rhetoric, the more marginalized he becomes.”

“A moral indictment from a confirmed ‘crazed sex poodle’ warrants no further comment,” said Daniel Kish of the American Energy Alliance.

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