Al Gore Calls Sarah Palin A 'Global Warming Denier'

Nobel Laureate Al Gore Wednesday called former Alaska governor Sarah Palin a "global warming denier."

Speaking with MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Gore also repeated his false claim about ClimateGate e-mail messages obtained from Britain's Climatic Research Unit: "the most recent one is like ten years ago."

As Andrew Bolt reported Wednesday at Australia's Herald Sun, the most recent e-mail message obtained from CRU was sent less than a month ago on November 12.

Unfortunately, much like his appearance on CNN earlier in the day, Gore was playing fast and loose with the facts.

Sadly, his MSNBC interviewer was similarly disinterested in challenging the former Vice President about his mistatements, and also never once asked him about his own financial interests in this matter (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC: Earlier this morning I sat down with former Vice President Al Gore to talk about climate change, his new book, "Our Choice," and Sarah Palin. Today, in an op-ed in the Washington Post, Palin is escalating her attack on the Copenhagen Summit. Palin calls it junk science, and writes that "The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won't change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse." I asked Al Gore to respond.

AL GORE: The global warming deniers persist in this era of unreality. After all, the entire North Polar ice cap, which has been there for most of the last 3 million years, is disappearing before our eyes. 40 percent's already gone. The rest is expected to go completely within the next decade. What do they think is causing this? The mountain glaciers in every region of the world are melting, many of them at an accelerated rate, threatening drinking supplies, drinking water supplies, and agricultural water supplies. We have these record storms, droughts, floods, fires, and tree deaths in the American west. Climate refugees beginning now, expected to rise to the hundreds of millions unless we take action. These effects are taking place all over the world exactly as predicted by the scientists who have warned for years that if we continue putting 90 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day, the accumulation is going to trap lots more heat, raise temperatures, and cause all of these consequences that are already beginning.

MITCHELL: Well, one of the things that she has written recently on Facebook is that this is "Doomsday scare tactics, pushed by an environmental priesthood that makes the public feel like owning an SUV is a sin against the planet."

GORE: Well, the scientific community has worked very intensively for 20 years within this international process and they now say the evidence is unequivocal. 150 years ago this year was the discovery that CO2 traps heat. That is a principle in physics. It is not a question of debate. It is like gravity. It exists.

MITCHELL: If it is so unequivocal, I've got to ask you about the leaks of those e-mails. Even today Tom Friedman talks about them massaging the evidence. Why would they feel the need to hype the evidence if it is so unequivocal? Some scientists, I should say.

Gore: Yeah, I don't think they did. I haven't read all of the e-mails that were stolen there from -- the most recent one is like ten years ago. And what they have done is they have snatched a few phrases completely out of context. I will give you an example. One of the off-quoted phrases has to do with the scientists saying that a particular study isn't good science and shouldn't be included in the international report. Well, that was their view. They exchanged it privately. The study was included, fully aired, discussed, the weak points were analyzed. What -- the other points were analyzed. So it is an example of how these private exchanges had been blown out of proportion, taken out of context, and misrepresented.

MITCHELL: At the same time, there is an economic impact. It is harder to persuade a lot of people, lot of Americans, unemployed, facing the effects of this recession, that the up-front costs of doing something about global warming are worth it. No doubt that there are, you know, overwhelming economic benefits down the road. But how do you persuade people in the middle of a recession that this should be their immediate priority?

GORE: Well, for one thing, when the world went into the recession, interest rates were already so low that the only economic policy tools that governments had to try to stimulate the economy was to have stimulus spending. And the need to build new infrastructure to accommodate the shift away from imported oil on which we have a growing dangerous dependence pushed many countries including the U.S. to devote a substantial part of that stimulus to a green stimulus. Now we have the opportunity to create millions of good new jobs in making this transition. Just the retrofitting of homes, with better windows and lighting and insulation to save money on their energy bills and put millions of people to work in local communities in jobs that cannot be outsourced. Building the smart grids, building the solar, wind, geothermal renewable energy systems, planting trees. These are all job creators that help to stimulate the economy and produce sustainable growth.

MITCHELL: Even if they are net job creators nationally, there are going to be areas in the Rust Belt, Michigan let's say, where there is a net loss from the effects of doing something, of making a commitment and of spending billions of dollars to help poor countries adjust, the commitments that are being expected of the President and of the United States government at Copenhagen.

GORE: Well, I think the losses of jobs started a long time ago with the outsourcing to other countries for a variety of reasons, including the cheaper labor costs. It is not -- not because of the response to global warming. The response to global warming can bring jobs back. I will give you an example. There's this company called Cardinal Fasteners in Ohio that is very proud to have made the bolts for the Golden Gate bridge and the Statue of Liberty. And they had some hard times. Now they are -- hiring people back, making bolts for windmills, and these wind farm insulations. The governor of Michigan, Governor Granholm, is one of the most vigorous advocates of bringing jobs back into some of these Rust Belt areas that were hard hit years ago, but now see the hope for a renaissance, putting people to work building these new renewable energy insulations.

Stop the tape. Here's another instance of Gore playing fast and loose with the facts. 

On January 29, Cleveland.com reported

Cardinal Fastener & Specialty Co., the Bedford Heights bolt company that President Barack Obama spotlighted days before his inauguration as an example of a manufacturer able to grow by supplying parts to the wind turbine industry, has laid off about eight of its 65 workers. The layoffs came just two weeks after the company was able to hire two workers to help with expanding orders. President John Grabner said he cut 12 percent of the work force because orders have decreased significantly for the industrial products that still account for 80 percent of his business - bolts for bridges, large buildings and heavy-equipment makers like Caterpillar. "The wind business is good, but they have slowed down also," he said.  

A LexisNexis search identified no reports of Cardinal Fasteners hiring people since this layoff, although it did identify Gore making this same claim on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" over a month ago:

There's one example in Ohio, a company called Cardinal Fasteners. They're proud they made the bolts for the Golden Gate Bridge and for the Statue of Liberty. And they went through some tough times. Now they're hiring people back to make bolts for windmills. And we're seeing these jobs. 

But I digress:

MITCHELL: As you know in "Our choice," there is a real partisan divide when it comes to people's attitudes. The Pew poll that you cite says 75 percent of college educated Democrats believe humans are responsible. Only 19 percent of college-educated Republicans. How do you figure that?

GORE: It may be partly because the tendency for many people to follow their perceived political leaders and the leadership of the modern Republican Party has really gotten into a global warming denier posture that I think has influenced some people. But it should not be a political issue. It really is a moral issue. It speaks to the responsibility of the present generation to take steps to safeguard those generations yet to come. Because this has now reached the level where if we were not to act, the consequences already beginning at a low level are predicted to reach catastrophic levels unless we take steps to prevent it from happening.

MITCHELL: There's been, according to the Pew Research, a 20% drop in the number of people in the last year. Since 2008, 71% believed that humans contributed to global warming and now it is only 51%. Do you attribute to that to the economic hard times and people focusing inward?

GORE: Well, I think that result dove tails with the first one that you cited because when you look inside that study, virtually 100% of those who changed their opinion were conservative Republicans.

Stop the tape! Once again, Gore was playing fast and loose with the facts. Here's what Pew reported on October 22:

The decline in the belief in solid evidence of global warming has come across the political spectrum, but has been particularly pronounced among independents. Just 53% of independents now see solid evidence of global warming, compared with 75% who did so in April 2008. Republicans, who already were highly skeptical of the evidence of global warming, have become even more so: just 35% of Republicans now see solid evidence of rising global temperatures, down from 49% in 2008 and 62% in 2007. Fewer Democrats also express this view - 75% today compared with 83% last year. 

Honestly, how does Gore get away with making stuff up like this? But again, I digress:

GORE: And the -- this should be a bipartisan issue. It used to be. And the -- the extreme partisanship we have seen in recent years, I think has affected the way our country has responded to this. Now, beneath the surface, there have been a lot of Republicans, a lot of people that used to be skeptics actually moving towards an acceptance of this science and a determination to do something about it. Lindsey Graham, for example, from South Carolina, is one of those Republicans in the Senate who is now saying look, the evidence tells us we have really got to take action. A lot of -- in the faith based community. A lot of fundamentalist groups are now saying, you know, the earth is the Lord's and fullness thereof and we have an obligation to be good stewards of the planet. And -- so -- I see signs of optimism and hope, even though in an economic recession, naturally when you ask people to list their priorities, they are going to place a higher priority on the immediate economic situation. [...]

Later, Mitchell asked an astoundingly preposterous question for a so-called journalist:

MITCHELL: In "Our Choice," you cite some interesting psychological data. What is it about the way we think that makes it so difficult for people, for many people, obviously not everyone, to accept the facts as you see them?

What is it about the way we think that makes it so difficult for people, for many people, obviously not everyone, to accept the facts as you see them?

Maybe, Andrea, it's because WE are capable of thinking for ourselves and questioning whether what people are telling us is indeed how they see things and NOT facts.

One would think a journalist would know that.

Of course, one would also expect someone in the news industry to ask Gore about his financial interests in global warming.

Alas, Mitchell never did.

Nice job, Andrea. 

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.