|August 23, 2013|
Al Gore likens global warming deniers to slavery, apartheid perpetrators
Former Vice President Al Gore said the topic of global warming is avoided like substance abuse in a timid family where the addict flies into a rage whenever the subject is mentioned.
Al Gore dished out some harsh words for global warming skeptics, likening the deniers of the environmental issue to the perpetrators of history's most egregious events including apartheid and slavery.
Gore told Washington Post reporter Ezra Klein that "we're winning" the conversation on racism, homophobia and prejudice.
"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 said in praise of how society has changed.
But when it comes to global warming deniers, Gore says the progress "has been stalled," blaming "a shrinking group of denialists."
The former vice president went on to compare global warming skeptics to families who have a relative with a substance abuse issue.
"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," he said.
Conservatives in particular place a low priority on concerns about global warming.
On Monday, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) called into the radio show hosted by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to blast President Obama's agenda.
The senator accused the President of violating federal law in the effort to combat climate change, saying his administration has an illegal partnership with his advocacy group Organizing for Action.
Despite the chatter from the right about concerns over global warming being overblown, Gore expressed optimism about a vibrancy in environmental activism.
He especially expressed excitement that deniers are being "hit politically."
"They're being subjected to ridicule ... the ability of the raging deniers to stop progress is waning every single day."
Though the GOP is criticized as dragging its feet when it comes to climate change, only 34% of Americans believe global warming poses a "serious threat," according to a Gallup poll from April.