Former Vice President Al Gore, one of the leading advocates of using public policy to combat climate change, calls out President Barack Obama for failing to call for “bold action” on the issue in a lengthy essay published Wednesday by Rolling Stone.
Though critical of Obama, Gore gives him credit for some minor accomplishments like increasing automobile fuel efficiency standards and securing a “rhetorical agreement” at the Copenhagen climate summit. But he goes on to insist that the president’s greatest power is the “power to pursuade” — and he chides Obama for not using it.
“He has simply not made the case for action,” Gore writes. “He has not defended the science against the ongoing, withering and dishonest attacks. Nor has he provided a presidential venue for the scientific community — including our own National Academy — to bring the reality of the science before the public.”
He continues: “Here is the core of it: we are destroying the climate balance that is essential to the survival of our civilization. This is not a distant or abstract threat; it is happening now. The United States is the only nation that can rally a global effort to save our future. And the president is the only person who can rally the United States.”
Gore’s full essay, clocking in at over 7,000 words, can be found on news stands this Friday, or on Rolling Stone‘s website.