Al Gore isn’t happy with President Obama’s efforts to curb climate change, and on Wednesday he went public with his complaints.
In a lengthy Rolling Stone essay, the former vice president and current climate crusader accused the president of failing to push hard enough for the “bold action” that is needed to overcome a disinformation campaign from large-scale polluters and their political allies.
“Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis,” Gore wrote. “He has not defended the science against the ongoing withering and dishonest attacks. Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community ... to bring the reality of the science before the public.”
The 7,000 word essay – which is featured on Rolling Stone’s homepage more prominently than the magazine’s review of Green Lantern but less prominently than its teaser interview with Katy Perry – also accuses large-scale industrial polluters and “Right-wing Ideologues” of “financing pseudoscientists whose job is to manufacture doubt.”
Still, it is Gore’s take on Obama’s energy and climate agenda that is drawing the most media attention, largely because the essay represents the first time that Gore has directly criticized Obama's White House on the topic.
In a concession to Obama, however, Gore writes that the administration has made a large number of small-scale changes that are helping the cause. “[Obama] appointed many excellent men and women to key positions, and they, in turn, have made hundreds of changes in environmental and energy policy that have helped move the country forward slightly on the climate issue,” Gore wrote.
But Gore goes on to criticize the president for failing to make cap and trade a Senate priority, calling for an expansion of domestic oil drilling, and bowing to oil and coal companies without asking for anything in return.