Written by Jeff Poor
"Al Gore, sexy man. The thinking girl's thoroughbred," Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan wrote for The Washington Post on Dec. 12, 2007. "It has definitely been this guy's year. ‘It's only taken me 30 years,' Gore joked, backstage at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, where a roomful of actors and singers waited their turn to make small talk with the man who, on this cold Scandinavian night, was clearly The Man."
Gore will likely receive that same style of rock star treatment in the lead up to the former vice president's scheduled testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee on Jan. 28 in Washington, D.C. That is, if he gets to testify. There is a possibility it could be canceled due to snow or ice, an irony reported by the Drudge Report on Dec. 26.
Gore's testimony is expected to include questions about the upcoming 2009 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Copenhagen, which is viewed as an important part of the process in creating a global carbon emissions treaty.
Media Still ♥ Al Gore
ABC's Bill Blakemore, a global warming alarmist with his own reporting, lavished praise on Gore, his writing and his movie on the "World Newser" blog on May 17, 2005. He even included Gore among great writers (with some of those great writers' names misspelled):
"The greatest writers - Shakespeare, Emily Dickenson [sic], Edgar Allen Poe [sic], Robert Frost, Dante - are found in the biographies to have focused the most of their time and mental energies as adults on their craft - writing. Their great clarity and insight does not come by accident. The Italian scholar Italo Calvino added that all great literature has one additional quality: lightness. Such art has a self- levitating quality; it provides its own field of gravity -- one of the reasons we value it. Former vice president Al Gore is the central actor in the non-fiction 96- minute long movie opening later this month entitled ‘An Inconvenient Truth.'"
Another example includes the July 14, 2006 issue of Entertainment Weekly, which called Gore "cool" for his global warming activism. Or how about the Dec. 12, 2007 Style section of The Washington Post, which labeled Gore as the tall, "adorable," "sexy," "very hot Nobel Peace Prize winner," ... "The Man." And, in March 2008, CBS's "60 Minutes" Lesley Stahl lobbed a few softballs at Gore on the eve of launching a $300 million global warming propaganda campaign, which he downplayed global warming skeptics.
"I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny minority now with their point of view," Gore said. "They're almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona, and those who believe the Earth is flat. That demeans them a little bit, but it's not that far off."
More recently, at the Obama inauguration, ABC "Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion hyped Gore's "Green Inaugural Ball" very glowingly.
"And, you're going to be surprised by some of the great ideas they actually had in this piece," Champion said. "You know, speaking of change, this president has been talking a lot about a new direction in energy, a new direction in environment. And that's one of the reasons why there was a first-ever, first-ever, green ball in the middle of all the fancy balls in Washington. And we went there. So we wanted to take you.
On several occasions, Gore has been called for his do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do mannerism. As Tom Nelson, a blogger that follows the global warming debate closely has pointed out - Gore may want you to change your light bulbs, but he has made a tremendous carbon footprint with his recent and imminent globe-trotting travels. Some of the notable carbon-belching destinations include:
Gore has also been criticized for his mansion in the Belle Meade area of Nashville. According to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, citing data from the Nashville Electric Service, Gore's home consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year.
And, as a May 2006 article in Wired magazine by Karen Breslau pointed out, the Gores flew an estimated 1 million miles in 2005, which they supposedly compensated for by purchasing carbon credits.
"Last year, for example, Gore and Tipper atoned for their estimated 1 million miles in global air travel by giving money to an Indian solar electric company and a Bulgarian hydroelectric project," Breslau wrote. "Carbon offsets are still an imperfect tool, favored only by a few early adopters. (An Inconvenient Truth directs viewers to a personal carbon calculator posted at www.climatecrisis.net.) Gore acknowledges that the average US consumer isn't likely to join what is, for now, essentially a voluntary taxation system."
The Push for a Copenhagen Treaty - or Kyoto, Part II
Many in the media have long pointed to the Copenhagen conference as the next best chance for an international treaty like Kyoto to be ratified by the U.S. government. Andrew Revkin, the climate reporter for The New York Times, noted this on the Times Dot Earth blog in late 2007.
"So the 100-year march trying to accelerate the decarbonization of energy systems has made another step along the road," Revkin wrote. "The next big step will come in Copenhagen precisely two years from now. Will there be a Copenhagen Protocol? Who will be the president will shape the United States position, and - more important - actions?"
The committee Gore is set to testify before is the same one that will be working toward an international carbon emission treaty, according the chairman, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., just weeks ago.
Both Kerry and the newly confirmed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have indicated they would push to have a treaty in place coming out of Copenhagen, where the upcoming 2009 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference will be held. It will be the next opportunity for the United States to ratify a climate change treaty like the Kyoto Protocol, which was rejected by the U.S. Senate 95-0 in 1997, which even Kerry voted against.
"Before turning to Sen. Lugar, let me just say one thing about global climate change," Kerry said at Clinton's confirmation hearing on Jan. 13. "Many today do not see global climate change as a national security threat, but it is - profoundly so."
Kerry urged Clinton to be proactive in pursuing a climate change treaty with the upcoming conference in December.
"And the consequences of our inaction grow more serious by the day," Kerry said. "In Copenhagen this December, we have a chance to forge a treaty that will profoundly affect the conditions of life on our planet itself. The resounding message from the recent climate change conference in Poland was that the global community is looking overwhelmingly to our leadership."
Kerry also offered a peek into what his Senate chairmanship would have in store when it comes to dealing with this issue.
"This committee will be deeply involved in crafting a solution that the world can agree to and that the Senate can ratify," Kerry continued. "And as we proceed the lesson of Kyoto must remain clear in our minds - all countries must be part of that solution."
In opening remarks at her confirmation hearing on Jan. 13, Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations committee she would use the office to shape foreign policy that would fight climate change
"You Mr. Chairman [Kerry] were among the very first in a growing chorus from both parties to recognize that climate change is an unambiguous security threat," Clinton said. "At the extreme it threatens our very existence. But well before that point, it could well incite new wars of an old kind over basic resources - like food, water and arable land."
Clinton named the December event in Copenhagen specifically.
"President-elect Obama has said America must be a leader in developing and implementing a global and coordinated response to climate change," Clinton said. "We will participate in the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference and a global energy forum. And we'll pursue an energy policy that reduces our carbon emissions while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and gas, fighting climate change and enhancing our economic and energy security."
Although there are no formal proposals on the table for Copenhagen, the last time the Senate acted on global warming legislation, the infamous Lieberman-Warner Bill - it was reported to come with a hefty price tag.
One analysis of that bill by CRA International, a business consulting firm, predicts the Lieberman-Warner bill could cost $4 trillion to $6 trillion over the next 40 years, according to an editorial in the Nov. 11, 2007 Washington Times.
Gore's Last Visit to Capitol Hill
The last time Al Gore visited the U.S. Capitol, he was greeted with a standing ovation, according to a March 21, 2007 post on The New York Times Web site. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, challenged Gore to practice what he preached about lowering carbon output without using carbon offsets or so called "green energy" credits.
According to a March 21, 2007 ABCNews.com story, Gore ignored Inhofe. But Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the committee fired back at Inhofe.
"You're not making the rules," Boxer said. "You don't do this anymore. Elections have consequences."
There has been some pushback from those who don't subscribe to Gore's cherished theory of anthropogenic climate change.
The Weather Channel founder John Coleman told an audience at The Heartland Institute's International Conference on Climate Change on March 3, 2008 his strategy for exposing what he called "the fraud of global warming." He advocated suing those who sell carbon credits, which would force global warming alarmists to give a more honest account of the policies they propose.
"[I] have a feeling this is the opening," Coleman said. "If the lawyers will take the case - sue the people who sell carbon credits. That includes Al Gore. That lawsuit would get so much publicity, so much media attention. And as the experts went to the witness stand and testified, I feel like that could become the vehicle to finally put some light on the fraud of global warming."
A report released by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Dec. 22, 2008 revealed more than 650 prominent scientists questioning the hype surrounding Gore's global warming claims.