June 23, 2006 -- For former Vice President Al Gore, a new report that the Earth is hotter than ever -- and that humans are to blame -- has only confirmed what he has long said about global warming and the need to protect the environment.
"The Earth has a fever and just like when your child has a fever, maybe that's a warning of something seriously wrong," Gore said on "Good Morning America" today.
On Thursday, the National Academy of Sciences reported that the Earth's temperature is at a 2000-year high and that "human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming." The panel's 155-page report said average global surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rose about 1 degree during the 20th century.
Another report from the National Center for Atmospheric Research showed that global warming produced about half of the extra hurricane-fueled warmth in the North Atlantic in 2005, and natural cycles were a minor factor.
Not Too Late
Gore, who has put aside campaigning to crusade and educate Americans on the effects of global warming, is the star of "An Inconvenient Truth," a documentary that chronicles his factual -- sometimes funny, yet disturbing -- slideshow lectures about climate change.
Although he believes the Earth has suffered irreparable damage, he also insists it's not too late to take action.
"This is man-made global pollution," said Gore, refuting critics like Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe's claims that global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." But Gore adds, "We still have time to take action to avoid the worse."
Gore points out the increase in wildfires, the melting glaciers and gradual drying up of all continents as undeniable proof of global warming. The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has doubled in the last 30 years and global sea levels could rise 20 feet by the end of the century, creating tens of millions of refugees, according to his documentary.
Gore said he advocates listening to the world scientific community and holding political leaders -- particularly President Bush -- accountable. He also urged Bush to see his documentary.
"We need presidential leadership," Gore said.
Bush has said he has no intention of seeing Gore's documentary.
Make A Change
Gore said mentalities on the environment and global warming in both the Democratic and Republican parties have to change so that whoever runs for president will be able to implement changes.
On the June 4 edition of ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," the former vice president said he's content to stay out of the political arena, preferring to fight against global warming rather than run for the White House again.
Gore encouraged people to become part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem. He advocated becoming "carbon neutral" -- reducing greenhouse gas emissions by planting more trees and curtailing getting behind the wheel.
"This has to come from the grassroots up because the politicians will not have the spine to face this unless the people start demanding it," he said.
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