Notes From a Life

Oct 12, 2007 4:47pm

"Once again, President Bush has been dragged slowly, kicking and screaming, toward the correct position." That’s Al Gore, going after one of his best-known adversaries–but it’s not the one you’d think.  He’s talking about the first President Bush, in a speech from the Senate floor on May 12, 1989, reacting to plans for a White House climate-change conference. There’s been so much about Al Gore’s Nobel reported already that it seems there’s very little new to say.  But we went into our archives and found plenty of old ones. Mr. Gore in 1990, taking another swipe at the White House: "If prime ministers or presidents cannot or will not provide environmental leadership, then with or without them, we will do whatever it takes to protect the global environment." Mr. Gore as Vice President in 1995: "Continuing this buildup of greenhouse gases will cause the climate to change.  The operative word in that sentence is not ‘may;’ it is ‘will.’" And here he is in 1998: "Global warming is no longer a theory, it is a reality, and it is time to act." Gore has said he found his calling when he studied under Prof. Roger Revelle, his mentor when he was an undergraduate at Harvard.  He mostly dropped the issue during the 2000 campaign, but other than that, he really hasn’t changed his message.  One last quotation: from the elder President Bush, during the 1992 campaign: "You know why I call him Ozone Man?  This guy is so far off in the environmental extreme, we’ll be up to our neck in owls and out of work for every American.  This guy’s crazy!" (Photo above: Rep. Al Gore Jr. in 1986.)

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