Ok – he didn’t say it in those exact words, but I’m sure that’ll be the exact impression you get when you read this piece from the UK Independent (emphasis added):
In an extraordinary outburst aimed at America’s failure to tackle global warming, Al Gore says that if scientific agreement on the climate crisis had been reached sooner it would have been easier to “galvanise the public and persuade Congress to act”.
The failed presidential candidate claims that the stronger scientific consensus he knew was about to emerge meant “we in the US were about to shift into high gear in addressing the climate crisis”. Mr Gore argues that if he had made it to the White House, he would have been able to use the office as a “bully pulpit” to achieve change.
“The nature and severity of the climate crisis had seemed painfully obvious to me for quite a long time,” claims Mr Gore, writing in a new foreword to a revised edition of his book, Earth in the Balance, being published this week.
In a swipe at the scientific community, he says: “I wish that we could have had in the 1990s the deafening scientific consensus that has emerged in more recent years.”
Mr Gore accuses his nemesis, President George Bush, of having taken “virtually no steps to address the problem. Worse, he and Vice President Cheney have led the nation in precisely the wrong direction.”
He goes on to detail how the Bush administration reversed a pledge to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant, pulled out of negotiations on the Kyoto treaty and replaced key scientific advisers with ones suggested by oil giant ExxonMobil.
The point of no return will be reached within 10 years, the former vice president says, and we cannot wait any longer to solve the crisis. He blames a focus on instant gratification for the “exclusion of long-term consequences in our decisions and policies” and writes about his “mission of solving the climate crisis”. His Oscar-winning documentary on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, became the surprise box-office hit of 2006.
Mr Gore claims that concerns over the environment formed his “principal agenda for eight years in the White House”. But he is light on details of what he did while in office, beyond a brief mention of his work with the Kyoto treaty (which was never ratified by Congress).
During his tenure as vice president, America’s carbon dioxide emissions shot up far faster than at any time in modern history – by 15 per cent, compared to just 1.65 per cent during President Bush’s first term.
The graphic Noel Sheppard has up is almost perfect for this story – and the egomaniac it’s about. It would have been perfect had it included the face of the fire-breathing Al.