Al Gore Tells Time Magazine Global Warming Skeptics Just As Dim As Birthers

Former vice president Al Gore is as eager as your average liberal on the street in wanting to explore resistance to the persuasiveness of global warming theories. The first problem? If conservatives are so thick in the head, why does the rest of the public need pictures, not just mere words?

In a supportive interview with Bryan Walsh in Time magazine, Gore explained "Years ago I shifted from making speeches about climate to presenting slideshows precisely because the complexity of the material makes it easier to communicate with pictures. Interactive infographics make it easier still." Then came time for "Science," and typically, Gore suggested his opponents are opposed to science, and to truth, just like the "birthers" who don't accept evidence:

TIME: Has the case been conclusively made now on the science of climate change?

GORE: Well, I thought the case was made that Obama was born in the United States...

TIME: That's interesting — you wrote in the 2007 book The Assault on Reason about the increasingly post-truth nature of politics. Is there a way to deal with this on the climate question? Fight it with more facts?

GORE: Buy the app! As Theodore Adorno said, "the conversion of all questions of truth to questions of power has attacked the very heart of the distinction between true and false."

I thought the [birther] issue was receding when I wrote this introduction, but it's a clear example of what's going on. It so closely resembles the willful refusal of climate skeptics to accept the truth of the climate crisis. It's like the Moynihan quote: "Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts." For me the [climate change] case was made a long time ago. But the political chapter contains one of the most startling facts about this. [He shows an illustration indicating that 19% of college-educated Republicans believe in climate change, compared to 75% of college-educated Democrats.] That difference is astonishing, and it also echoes the birther controversy.

TIME: Has this polarization always been this case?

GORE: No it hasn't.  

Gore can't acknowledge that the question of global warming isn't just about "questions of truth," but about questions of power. Democrats believe in climate change in part because the prospect of an environmental catastrophe offers a rationale to employ government power to overhaul our entire energy system. College-educated Republicans don't agree for scientific and political reasons. Just like Newsweek, Time didn't inform the reader that Gore is citing in Adorno a Marxist of the Frankfurt school. Adorno's speaking of the Nazis, and Gore thinks the comparison to conservatives is close enough.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis