Al Gore Brings Global Warming Crusade Back to Congress

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"Twenty of the 21 hottest years ever measured in the human record have been in the last 25 years," Gore said. "The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, 'I read a science fiction novel that says it's not a problem.' If the crib's on fire you don't speculate that the baby is flame-retardant."

Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., agreed with Gore on the science, but wondered about the impact that Gore's solutions would have on the U.S. economy.

"I agree with you that the debate over climate change is over," Hastert said. "But when you tend to regulate, when you tax, you depress the ability of the free market to work. So how do we do it? We need to work on solutions and find the legislative language and legislative fixes to make this work."

Republicans in the Senate also expressed a willingness to work together.

"You've thrown down a very tough challenge today in this Congress. I'm prepared to take some risks and fight with you," said Senator John Warner, R-Va.,. "I'd be the first to say that I've got a lot to learn."

The former vice president brought with him several boxes which held 516,000 letters from people concerned about global warming. Gore said he planned to deliver the messages to members of Congress.

"I'm not here by myself," Gore said of the letters. "There are lots of Americans who feel as strongly as I do."

Gore testified in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Science and Technology Committee. In the Senate he was questioned by members of the Environment and Public Works Committee, including his former vice presidential running mate from the 2000 campaign, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, Ind-Conn..

Representing Tennessee as a member of the House and later the Senate, Gore held the first global warming hearings in Congress over 20 years ago.

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