ABC's "Good Morning America" fired up the global-warming bandwagon again this morning with a very soft and friendly "exclusive" interview with Al Gore to boost the weekend box office numbers of Gore's slide-show documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."
Substitute host Bill Weir assumed the entire catastrophe is under way, asking: is the impending disaster man-made? Is it irreversible? Do we need "extreme lifestyle change"? How can Gore explain that conservatives still show "lingering skepticism"? In addition to praising Gore for raising an "excellent point," Weir pleaded that he should ponder another presidential campaign: "can the planet be saved without the help of a president?" Weir concluded: "Your passion is evident every time you speak on this."
Here's the transcript from MRC's Brian Boyd. Weir began:
"Former Vice President Al Gore and star of the documentary, 'An Inconvenient Truth,' about global warming, joins us live from his home in Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Vice President, good morning to you."
Al Gore: "Good morning, Bill."
Weir: "Well, we know about the glaciers and the drowning polar bears. We've heard those warnings, but the weather we're seeing today in America: the floods, the wildfires, the droughts, even mosquitoes at higher elevations; how much of this do you believe is man-made?"
Gore: "Well, the major gold standard study that came out yesterday from the National Academy of Sciences says that most of it is man-made. The Earth has a fever. When your child has a fever you hear maybe that's a warning of something seriously wrong and you get it checked. Well, we've gotten it checked and the scientific community worldwide has a consensus: it's man-made global warming pollution. And it's making the droughts much more likely and more intense, the big downpours that Bill Blakemore's excellent piece just described, and a major study on hurricanes, also out yesterday, says that the more powerful hurricanes are mainly due to man-made global warming, the increased intensity and strength."
Weir: "How urgent do you believe this is for us to turn it around? Have we passed a tipping point where it's irreversible?"
Gore: "No, we still have time to take action that will allow us to avoid the worst of the damage that would otherwise occur. Some damage is now taking place. The increased wildfires are occurring on every continent, the drying out of the midsections of Europe, of Asia, of North America, South America, Africa, that's occurring worldwide. The migration of tropical diseases toward more temperate zones where more people encounter them. That's already taking place. But we can avoid the worst. But here's the point, Bill, we have to listen to what the world scientific community is now practically screaming from the rooftops. And we the citizens of our country have to hold our leaders in both political parties to account to stop just listening to special interests that don't want to have to rein in the global warming pollution that's causing this. And instead, listen to the scientists who are telling us we have to act in order to discharge our moral obligation to our children and all those who come after. We cannot allow this to continue, we have to take action."
Weir: "Well, you raise an excellent point there. Yesterday, when the hockey stick graph came out it seemed to be validated. And actually you drive this point even farther in your movie, in fact, you get on a forklift to show where the temperature is heading in the next 100 years or so. But despite the science that you say is so cut and dried, and like you say they are screaming, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe dismisses the study. He says the hockey stick is broken, it's junk science. So how do you account for that sort of lingering skepticism?"
Gore: "Well, he appointed as the chief of staff of his committee the chief lobbyist for some of the biggest polluters. The White House put in charge of their environmental policy the lobbyist and lawyer with no scientific training in charge of the disinformation campaign. It's not acceptable and it shouldn't be a political issue. It should be seen for what it is, a moral issue. And all of us are a part of this pattern that has to change, but when we as individuals change we also have a right to demand that the policies that subsidize this pollution, that give these big breaks to big oil companies that are putting out disinformation trying to confuse people into thinking that everything is fine. It's not fine. The Earth has a fever that is growing more and more intense. It is a planetary emergency. The movie, 'An Inconvenient Truth,' and the book of the same title, lays out all of the facts confirmed again in these two studies that came out yesterday and also shows how to solve the problem. I wish President Bush would change his mind and go and see this movie because it lays out exactly what is happening and how we can solve it."
Weir: "You said in the movie that this issue drove you to run for president in 88, but you've also said recently that it's keeping you, in part, from running in 2008 because the corrosive nature of modern politics would diminish the message there. But can this be fixed, can the planet be saved without the help of a president?"
Gore: "Well, we need presidential leadership but we also need to change the minds of the American people about the urgency of this crisis. We have to change minds across the board in both parties, among independents as well--"
Weir: "So quickly--"
Gore: "So who ever does run for president--"
Weir: "I'm sorry--"
Gore: "will face an electorate, go ahead."
Weir: "I want to get it in here before we lose our time here, but what do people who are concerned walking out the door this morning? Is it selling the SUV? Is it extreme lifestyle change?"
Gore: "Go to the website climatecrisis.net. Most of the changes that you will find appropriate for your lifestyle are things that can improve your life anyway. You can become what they call 'carbon neutral,' which is no longer contribute to the problem but be part of the solution. Most importantly, become active and vocal in your family and your community and your church and synagogue and school and business and then as a citizen of this nation. This has to come from the grassroots up because the politicians will not have the spine to face this unless the people start demanding it."
Weir concluded with a final bow and scrape: "Your passion is evident every time you speak on this. Vice President Al Gore, we thank you, sir."