By Ben Geman - 08/08/11 08:51 PM EDT
Al Gore is using this hot summer to turn up the heat on climate skeptics.
The former vice president angrily denounced "bulls--t" from climate skeptics whom he accused of emulating the disinformation tactics once used by the tobacco industry.
Real Aspen reported on Gore’s comments at an Aspen Institute forum Thursday and included an audio snippet on its website.
The model they innovated in that effort was transported whole cloth into the climate debate. And some of the exact same people — by name, I can go down a list of their names — are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists, to pretend to be scientists, to put out the message: "This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes." Bulls--t! "It may be sun spots." Bulls--t! "It’s not getting warmer." Bulls--t!
And there are about 10 other memes that are out there, and when you go and talk to any audience about climate, you hear them washing back at you. The same crap, over and over and over again ... There is no longer a shared reality on an issue like climate even though the very existence of our civilization is threatened. People have no idea! And yet our ability to actually come to a shared reality that emphasizes the best evidence ... It’s no longer acceptable in mixed company, meaning bipartisan company, to use the goddamn word "climate."
Real Aspen reported that Gore then said, “They have polluted it to the point where we cannot possibly come to an agreement on it.”
The comments are the latest in what has become a stepped-up Gore effort to counter what he calls disinformation campaigns by industry-based skeptics who attack the scientific consensus on climate change.
His comments come as GOP contenders are taking stances even less to Gore’s liking.
Last week former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said most — and maybe all — global warming stems from natural causes, a view that contradicts a suite of leading scientific bodies.
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