Entries in Climate Change (3)


Al Gore: ‘Sandy’ a Symptom of Larger Climate Crisis

Heather Kennedy/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Former Vice President Al Gore warned in a blog post Tuesday that Hurricane Sandy is a, “disturbing sign of things to come” if the world doesn’t quit “dirty energy.”

Tuesday afternoon, with large swaths of the Northeast still swimming in the storm’s mess, the Current TV founder and environmental activist published a statement asking the public to, "heed this warning and act quickly to solve the climate crisis."

"Sandy was also affected by other symptoms of the climate crisis," Gore wrote. "As the hurricane approached the East Coast, it gathered strength from abnormally warm coastal waters. At the same time, Sandy’s storm surge was worsened by a century of sea level rise. Scientists tell us that if we do not reduce our emissions, these problems will only grow worse.”

Gore isn’t the only politician tying Sandy's wrath to global climate change.

"What’s clear is that the storms that we’ve experienced in the last year or so around this country and around the world are much more severe than before," New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a briefing Tuesday. "Whether that's global warming or what, I don't know. But we'll have to address those issues.”

N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, an early favorite in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, expressed similar concerns, quipping that New Yorkers, "have a 100-year flood every two years now."

Cuomo also suggested the state could look into the construction of levees to prevent future flooding.

"It is something we're going to have to start thinking about," Cuomo told reporters. "The construction of this city did not anticipate these kinds of situations. We are only a few feet above sea level.”

Gore made some headlines after the first presidential debate when he blamed President Obama’s muted performance on a different kind of change in the climate.

"I'm going to say something controversial here," he said to his Current TV roundtable-mates. "Obama arrived in Denver at 2 p.m. today -- just a few hours before the debate started. Romney did his debate prep in Denver. When you go to 5,000 feet, and you only have a few hours to adjust -- I don't know…”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


White House: Obama Has Taken Aggressive Steps to Tackle Climate Change

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- In response to Al Gore’s Rolling Stone essay charging that President Obama “failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change,” a White House spokesman tells ABC News that the president “has been clear since day one that climate change poses a threat domestically and globally.”

Gore accused the president of having done little to move the country forward on the issue of climate change.

“President Obama has never presented to the American people the magnitude of the climate crisis. He has simply not made the case for action,” wrote Gore, who won a Nobel Prize in 2007 for his work on climate change.

Not so, says the White House.

“Under his leadership we have taken the most aggressive steps in our country’s history to tackle this challenge,” the president’s spokesman said, pointing to the investments made through the Recovery Act.

“We made the largest investment ever in clean energy, creating jobs and reducing dangerous carbon pollution.  After decades of delay, we set aggressive new joint fuel economy and emissions standards for cars and trucks, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 960 million metric tons and saving 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program. The administration will also soon set the first-ever national policy to increase fuel efficiency and decrease carbon pollution from medium and heavy-duty trucks. These steps not only protect us from the damaging effects of climate change, but they also create jobs and cut costs for families,” he told ABC.

Even the president, however, seemed to admit recently that the administration’s efforts on climate change have left something to be desired.

“We want to invent the next big energy breakthrough that is going to make sure that we're no longer dependent on foreign oil, and we can start finally doing something about climate change, and we're not vulnerable to huge spikes in gasoline prices,” Obama said at a fundraiser in New York in April. “We've had some setbacks, and some things haven't happened as fast as people wanted them to happen. I know. I know the conversations you guys have. ‘Oh, you didn't get the public option’ and ‘Gosh, I wish that energy bill had passed.’ I understand the frustrations. I feel them, too.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Opposition to Climate Change Proposition in California Increases

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- In an election cycle filled with fighting words on climate change, a ballot measure in California could set the precedent for the rest of the country and give a needed boost to Democrats who have unsuccessfully tried to pass a comprehensive energy bill.

Proposition 23 would suspend California's Global Warming Act of 2006 until unemployment in the state drops to 5.5 percent or below for four consecutive quarters.  The clean air law was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut to 1990 levels by 2020.  Regulations capping emissions will begin to be fully implemented in 2012, unless the initiative passes.

Opposition to the controversial ballot measure has surged in recent weeks, led by celebrities and heavyweights like Bill Gates and Google's Sergey Brin.

A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) shows 48 percent of likely voters in the state oppose the initiative, compared to 37 percent who support it.  The measure has been labeled the "Dirty Energy Prop" by its opponents because of the support it has received from oil companies and conservatives like the Koch brothers.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has said she will vote against Proposition 23, but still plans to suspend the global warming law if she's elected.  But the state's other high-profile Republican candidate, Carly Fiorina, has called the ballot measure "a band-aid fix and an imperfect solution."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio