Al Gore, "The Goracle," (as he is referred to by the legion of climate change disciples) who flipped his political fortunes to become a potential player in the 2008 U.S. presidential race, made an emotional return to Congress Wednesday to appeal on the planet's behalf.
Gore implored lawmakers to adopt a list of policy ideas in order to stop global warming in its tracks.
Gore, fresh off his celebratory Academy Awards appearance in which his documentary entitled "An Inconvenient Truth" won two Oscars, drew quite a crowd as he testified before House of Representatives and Senate panels about a "true planetary emergency" if Congress fails to act, reports the AP.
"A day will come when our children and grandchildren will look back and they'll ask one of two questions," Gore told the panels. "Either they will ask what in God's name were they doing? Didn't they see the evidence."
"Or ... they may look back, and they'll say, 'How did they find the uncommon courage to rise above politics and redeem the promise of American democracy and do what some said was impossible?'"
However the former vice president faced a more critical reception than the warm embrace he received from the Hollywood left as Republicans queried him on the science used in his testimony.
"You're not just off a little, you're totally wrong," said Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the leading Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as he challenged Gore's conclusion that carbon dioxide emissions are the cause of rising global temperatures.
The AP also reports that Barton and Gore exchange became a little testy at one point with Barton demanding that Gore get to the point and Gore responding that he would like to be afforded time to answer without being interrupted.
"Global warming science is uneven and evolving," Barton barked.
The former veep insisted that the link is irrefutable and is the source of broad agreement amongst the scientific community.
"The planet has a fever," Gore said. "If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor, he said with that Tennessee drawl. "If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, 'Well, I read a science fiction novel that told me it's not a problem.' If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action."
Gore's congressional testimony marked the very first time he has returned to Capitol Hill since January 2001, when he was stood as the defeated Democratic presidential nominee presiding over the Senate in his role as vice president.
As part of his visit, the New York Times said that Gore suggested the government invoke a 10-point program oriented towards decreasing carbon emissions and promoting more environmentally friendly technologies.
Oh, on that 2008 presidential run? The Times quotes one attendee as shouting, "Run, Al, run," after the former vice president as he barreled through the hallway, a greeting that the Times says has become as familiar as "hello." He repeated that he "has no plans" to run for president.
No plans? Hmmph!
Today Al Gore was asked to sign a personal energy ethics pledge. The pledge was presented to Gore by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
The result? The National Ledger has more:
'According to a release Senator Inhofe showed Gore a film frame from "An Inconvenient Truth" where it asks viewers: "Are you ready to change the way you live?" "There are hundreds of thousands of people who adore you and would follow your example by reducing their energy usage if you did. Don't give us the run-around on carbon offsets or the gimmicks the wealthy do," Senator Inhofe told Gore.
"Are you willing to make a commitment here today by taking this pledge to consume no more energy for use in your residence than the average American household by one year from today?" Senator Inhofe asked.'
In short, Gore refuses to take the pledge. No one should listen to Gore until he is willing to make sacrifices. Until then, he'll simply be, as Jack Kramer calls him, just another limousine liberal.