Ezra Klein interviewed former Vice President Al Gore on his hypocritical hobby horse, global warming aka climate change. Typical of Klein, not a single skeptical word was uttered. Instead of focusing on facts, he focused the interview on polemics. Gore was evidently happy to oblige.
EK: Give me the optimistic scenario on what happens next. If all goes well, what do the next few years look like on this issue?
AG: Well, I think the most important part of it is winning the conversation. I remember as a boy when the conversation on civil rights was won in the South. I remember a time when one of my friends made a racist joke and another said, hey man, we don’t go for that anymore. The same thing happened on apartheid. The same thing happened on the nuclear arms race with the freeze movement. The same thing happened in an earlier era with abolition. A few months ago, I saw an article about two gay men standing in line for pizza and some homophobe made an ugly comment about them holding hands and everyone else in line told them to shut up. We’re winning that conversation.
The conversation on global warming has been stalled because a shrinking group of denialists fly into a rage when it’s mentioned. It’s like a family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage every time a subject is mentioned and so everybody avoids the elephant in the room to keep the peace. But the political climate is changing. Something like Chris Hayes’s excellent documentary on climate change wouldn’t have made it on TV a few years ago. And as I said, many Republicans who’re still timid on the issue are now openly embarrassed about the extreme deniers. The deniers are being hit politically. They’re being subjected to ridicule, which stings. The polling is going back up in favor of doing something on this issue. The ability of the raging deniers to stop progress is waning every single day.
When that conversation is won, you’ll see more measures at the local and state level and less resistance to what the EPA is doing…
Shorter Gore: Since we’re not winning with facts, we’ll just Alinksy everyone until they submit.
By the way, the nuclear freeze movement? That was funded in the West by the Soviet Union. Leftists like Barack Obama and John Kerry bought into it, but it didn’t stop Reagan from deploying the Pershing II missiles in Europe. Odd of Gore to bring that up in this context.
Al Gore’s carbon footprint remains absolutely massive.