Video: Gore Likens Fight Against ‘Climate Change’ to Battle with Nazis


al-gore[Video below.] Al Gore invoked the spirit of Winston Churchill yesterday when he urged political leaders to follow the example of Britain’s wartime leader in the battle against climate change. The former Vice-President accused governments around the world of exploiting ignorance about the dangers of global warming to avoid taking difficult decisions. Speaking in Oxford at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by The Times, Gore said: “Winston Churchill aroused this nation in heroic fashion to save civilization in World War Two. We have everything we need except political will, but political will is a renewable resource.”Gore admitted that it was difficult to persuade the public that the threat from climate change was as urgent as that from Hitler.

“The level of awareness and concern among populations has not crossed the threshold where political leaders feel that they must change,” he said. “The only way politicians will act is if awareness raises to a level to make them feel that it’s a necessity.”

Gore, who brought the issues around climate change to a mass audience with the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, said that the great hope for the future lay in the high level of environmental awareness among young people.

He said sceptics who refused to believe that dramatic cuts in carbon emissions could be delivered should consider the example of the young scientists in the Nasa team who put a man on the Moon on 1969.

“The average age of scientists in the space centre control room was 26, which means they were 18 when they heard President Kennedy say he wanted to put a man on the Moon in ten years. Neil Armstrong did it eight years and two months later.”

He said future generations would put one of two questions to today’s adults. “It will either be ‘What were you thinking, didn’t you see the North Pole melting before your eyes, didn’t you hear what the scientists were saying?’. Or they will ask ‘How is it you were able to find the moral courage to solve the crisis which so many said couldn’t be solved?'”

Sir David King, the Government’s former Chief Scientist and now director of the Smith School, also berated politicians. “I do think it’s relatively easy for a prime minister to make a speech on climate change, which sounds committed, and very much more difficult for that prime minister to persuade the Treasury to put the finance behind that commitment to make it a reality.

“There is a long distance in government between saying what you think needs to be said and then making budgets available.”

Sir David expressed disappointment that no senior British politician had agreed to address a conference attended by top climate scientists, business leaders and the presidents of the Maldives and Rwanda. “I tried to pull in a lot of IOUs. But where was Lord Mandelson, where was Ed Miliband? Where was David Cameron? Where was William Hague?”

Click below to watch a video of Gore’s remarks:

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{TimesOnline/Elisha Newscenter}