Former Vice President Al Gore recently expressed his dismay for people who doubt the theory of global warming.
In a somewhat shocking rant, reported by the Web site Real Aspen, Gore railed against the tactics that global warming skeptics have used in the debate on climate change. Speaking at the Aspen Institute media forum "Networks an Citizenship," Gore pulled no punches, cursing numerous times in a speech that is quickly making rounds on the Internet.
After referencing how tobacco giants succeeded in delaying the implementation of the surgeon general's report for 40 years, Gore compared it to the current situation with climate change.
"That same model of media manipulation was transported whole cloth into the climate debate. And some of the exact same people -- I can go down a list of their names -- are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: 'This climate thing, it's nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn't trap heat. It may be volcanoes.'"
Gore then spouted off a couple of curse words that aren't for family friendly news sites such as IBTimes. He said these skeptics have polluted the debate and there's no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate, even though "the very existence of our civilization is threatened."
"People have no idea! It's no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the [expletive] word 'climate.' They have polluted it to the point where we cannot possibly come to an agreement on it," said Gore.
The former Vice President was originally at the Aspen Institute to talk about poverty, but spoke at a separate lunch for the institute's communications and society program, according to the Los Angeles Times. It was at this meeting, where he was supposed to talk about electronic public square and governance, that Gore went off.
Gore could be referencing a recent study from Roy Spencer, research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. science team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer. Spencer's recent study on climate change concluded the Earth is more efficient at releasing energy than models used to forecast climate change (like global warming) have led people to believe.
"The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show," Spencer said. "There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans."
Using data from NASA's Terra Satellite, Spencer deducted that the climate system sheds energy more than three months before the typical warming event reaches its peak. When this is applied long-term, he said the climate isn't as sensitive to the carbon dioxide concentrations about which global warming scientists have theorized.
Other climate scientists were quick to dismiss Spencer's theory however. Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said the research's conclusion, didn't come with clear analysis. Others flat-out said it was a political ploy.
"It makes the skeptics feel good, it irritates the mainstream climate science community, but by this point, the debate over climate policy has nothing to do with science. It's essentially a debate over the role of government," surrounding issues of freedom versus regulation, Andrew Dessler, a Texas A&M University of atmospheric sciences, told LiveScience.
In a comment, The Aspen Institute's spokesperson, Charlie Firestone said:
"Al Gore spoke and took questions for more than an hour in an informal session at the Aspen Institute FOCAS Conference on Aug. 4. The topic of the Forum was "Networks and Citizenship." His remarks ranged from the history of communications to current research in neuroscience to a discussion of contemporary politics.
One participant described it as "a tour de force of ideas expressed with humor, passion and insight." The session was arranged at the last minute as he was in Aspen to participate in another conference. He was unaware that the session was being taped, as most Aspen Institute policy meetings are off the record."
Here is the rant below.
Credit: Real Aspen