President Obama has been fiercely criticized by former Vice President Al Gore for his lack of progress on climate change in a magazine article set to be published Friday.
Gore criticized Obama saying that he had failed to act decisively to make any significant changes to the country’s climate change and energy policies.
The rebuke came as Gore wrote for “Rolling Stone” magazine, where he said: “President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has simply not made the case for action.
“He has not defended the science against the ongoing, withering and dishonest attacks,” Gore said. “Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community - including our own National Academy - to bring the reality of the science before the public.”
Gore explained that Obama has failed to stand up for “bold action” on global warming and has made inadequate progress on the problem since the days of Republican President George W. Bush.
Former President Bush regularly angered environmentalists for resisting mandatory controls on the pollution blamed for climate change.
However, according to The New York Times Clark Stevens, a White House press officer defended Obama’s record: “The president has been clear since Day 1 that climate change poses a threat domestically and globally, and under his leadership we have taken the most aggressive steps in our country’s history to tackle this challenge.”
Gore also held the world’s media in contempt, saying that it had failed to report accurately about climate change, and in particular had failed to educate the public about the growing scientific consensus that climate change was real, and that it was most likely to be caused by man.
President Obama was noted by Gore to have made some efforts to tackle climate change, such as passing his green stimulus package. However, Gore rebuked the president for then doing “nothing to defend it when Congress decimated its funding.”
Gore also highlighted that Obama had made a last-minute appearance in Copenhagen to help seal a non-binding deal to reduce greenhouse gases. However, Gore, like a majority of climate change campaigners, was far from satisfied with the result. He called the deal a “rhetorical agreement” that was simply a cover for the Obama administration’s inability to commit to enforceable global warming targets.
Gore wrote: “During the final years of the Bush-Cheney administration, the rest of the world was waiting for a new president who would aggressively tackle the climate crisis, and when it became clear that there would be no real change from the Bush era, the agenda at Copenhagen changed from `How do we complete this historic breakthrough?' to `How can we paper over this embarrassing disappointment?'”
In his conclusion Gore exhorted: “The climate crisis, in reality, is a struggle for the soul of America.
“It is about whether or not we are still capable - given the ill health of our democracy and the current dominance of wealth over reason - of perceiving important and complex realities clearly enough to promote and protect the sustainable well-being of the many,” Gore said.
“What hangs in the balance is the future of civilization as we know it.”