Former Vice President Al Gore on Thursday knocked President Barack Obama — his fellow Democrat — for not doing enough to combat climate change, saying “we cannot have four more years” of the same.
“I deeply respect our president and I’m grateful for the steps that he has taken, but we cannot have four more years of mentioning this occasionally and saying it’s too bad Congress can’t act,” Gore told the New York League of Conservation Voters.
Gore praised New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg — whose city was slammed by Hurricane Sandy — for “leading this effort,” but said it was imperative to “take steps to reduce the chance that even worse impacts [than Sandy] will happen in the future.“
“This storm was related to global warming,” Gore said. “The scientists used to say some years ago that you can’t blame any single extreme weather event on climate. Now many of the leaders…are saying no, we’ve gone beyond that now, it’s gotten too far.”
He continued, “We’re putting 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every single day, spewing it up there as if the atmosphere of the planet is an open sewer — free to use, free of charge, just put as much junk up there are you want to, notwithstanding the fact that it is causing these extreme weather events. Dirty energy causes dirty weather and we have to come to our senses and do something about it.”
Asking “what will it take for the national government to wake up” as Bloomberg has, Gore said America’s democracy “has been hacked” by “large carbon polluters” who essentially control members of Congress on the issue.
“We need leadership in the executive branch as well,” Gore said. “I know how tough it is — [Obama’s] done more in his first four years than any other administration has ever done and I respect that and acknowledge that, but the time has long since passed for us to get moving. This country is the only nation that can provide global leadership, and the dysfunctional governance globally is directly related to the dysfunction of the government here in our own country.”
Watch Gore’s full speech below, remarks begin at the 10:50 mark: