Former Vice President Al Gore said Saturday that he feels like the green movement’s version of baseball great Jackie Robinson, the first black man to represent the integration of America’s past time.
“There is a time-honored tradition of people who strongly disagree with a message and take it out on the messenger, and opponents of integration had a personal animus for Jackie Robinson. Opponents of all the great social movements would take out after the advocates that were most effective in asking people to change,” Gore told his one-time employer, Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper.
Gore and Robinson come from starkly different backgrounds and faced equally different circumstances in their lives.
Robinson managed to become the first black member of the baseball Hall Of Fame, despite having been born and raised in poverty during the racially divided 1940s. Gore, on the other hand, was the second of two children of Albert Gore Sr., a U.S. Representative who later served as a U.S. Senator from Tennessee. The Nobel Prize winner’s family owned a tobacco farm in Tennessee but lived primarily in D.C.’s Embassy Rowe neighborhood for politicians and ambassadors.
The politician turned environmentalist went on to say that he doesn’t feel slighted by the arrows and barbs lobbed at him, because the fight against global warming is similar to the fight to integrate baseball, he said in an interview marking the 10th anniversary of “An Inconvenient Truth.”
The Nobel Prize winner told a reporter in May that he thought his 2006 film about global warming actually downplayed the effects of climate change. He said at the time that he wished the film have “over-estimated” how serious the global warming is.
“The word ‘mission’ might sound a little grandiose, but that’s kind of what it feels like to me. Honestly, it is a joy and a privilege to have work that justifies pouring every ounce of energy you can pour into it. That is a blessing that is to be cherished,” Gore added in the interview on Saturday.
Gore went on to say that Zika is a result of man-made global warming.
Pollution is “disrupting weather patterns,” Gore said, “putting a lot more water vapor into the air and causing record downpours — like the ones going on in Texas (recently) and in France and Germany and other places. And, simultaneously, it’s causing these droughts because it’s pulling the soil moisture out of the land, so with the ice melting and sea levels rising — as the scientists predicted — tropical diseases like Zika are coming into areas like the U.S.”
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