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Inaction on global warming makes Al Gore hot under collar

Former vice president Al Gore speaks Monday night an event sponsored by University Chicago Institute Politics held Chicago Theological Seminary.

Former vice president Al Gore speaks Monday night at an event sponsored by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics, held at the Chicago Theological Seminary. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times

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Updated: June 14, 2014 6:46AM



Former Vice President Al Gore preached global warming at the University of Chicago Monday.

Gore, who said 99.99 percent of climate scientists acknowledge the planet’s climate is changing, compared the situation to a heart problem.

“If, God forbid, you had chest pains and somehow were magically able to consult with the 10,000 leading heart specialists in the world and 9,999 of them said ‘Oh my God, you’ve got to take this medicine, change your diet, get some exercise . . . but out of the 10,000, you find one that said ‘Well, I don’t know yet. The jury is still out.’ What would you do?”

The truth, Gore said, is obstructed by politicians, money and special interest groups.

“There is an enforced orthodoxy in the Republican Party” that goes against anyone who might utter “the slightest breath about sympathy for the truth about climate science,” said Gore, a global warming warrior who shone a light on the issue in the 2006 documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“It all boils down mainly to one problem, and that is that the influence of money has reached toxic levels,” said Gore, who argued that Republican candidates refused to acknowledge the climate crisis because they feared losing campaign donations from business groups that benefit from using the atmosphere as an “open sewer.”

“Whenever the Republican Party allows its candidates to legislate and to speak on the basis of what climate science actually says, there will be many ways to work together,” Gore said.

“Is there a way to compromise? Well, of course. But you can’t compromise a core value like the survival of civilization.”

Gore said the battle is not lost, yet.

“I want to recruit you. I want to ask you to get involved,” Gore told the crowd of about 200 students, faculty and others at the event, which was sponsored by the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.

“Our politics must come to the rescue and must empower us to make intelligent forceful decisions to protect the public interest, and we are not yet doing it . . . now is the time to act,” said Gore, who proclaimed “a revolution is coming” in the form of alternative energy.

“The amount of energy coming to the earth from the sun in one hour exceeds the amount of energy used by the entire world in a whole year,” said Gore, who noted that as solar technology becomes more efficient, energy prices could begin dropping within 10 years.

After Gore finished his remarks, he sat for a discussion with David Axelrod, director of the Institute of Politics.

Email: mdudek@suntimes.com

Twitter: @mitchdudek



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