WASHINGTON - In an interview with FearLess Revolution founder, Alex Bogusky, former U.S. vice President Al Gore compared the debate over climate change to the Civil Rights movement in the US in the 1960s.
This comparison has sparked negative reaction from members of the black leadership network, Project 21.
The group condemned Gore’s attempt to "injected race into the debate over emissions regulations by comparing those opposed to further regulation with opponents of the civil rights movement."
“Coming during the week of the planned Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial dedication, the so-called inventor of the Internet's comments are off the deep end,” said Project 21 spokesman Horace Cooper, who is also a senior fellow with the Institute for Liberty. “Equating sincere disagreements over a scientific theory with lynching and Jim Crow isn’t just off base — it denies history and is a slap in the face of all Americans who came together to end racism and bigotry.”
In the interview broadcast on UStream late last week, Gore said advocates of increased emissions regulations need to “win the conversation on climate.” In comparing his critics to people who opposed civil rights laws, Gore said: “[T]here came a time when racist comments would come up in the course of the conversation and in years past they were just… natural. Then there came a time when people would say, ‘Hey, man why do you talk that way, I mean that is wrong. I don’t go for that, so don’t talk that way around me. I just don’t believe that.’ That happened in millions of conversations and slowly the conversation was won… And we have to win the conversation on climate.”
When interviewer Alex Bogusky suggested it was hard to difficult to respond to critics of increased emissions regulation, Gore replied: “It is no more difficult that it was for southerners to talk about the evil of racism.”
Project 21 spokesman Jerome Hudson noted: “When Al Gore compares those who question his perception of man-made global warming to racists and segregationists in an attempt to ‘win the conversation,’ he reveals a disturbing desperation that not only alienates him from the mainstream but marginalizes his logic and nullifies his already flailing credibility.”
Beyond the absurdity and offensive nature of Gore’s statement, Project 21 experts also point out that Gore’s own family history and the expected extent of his regulatory agenda marginalize his credibility when he attempts to embrace the civil rights movement.
“Al Gore’s grounding in reality — or lack of it — is astounding,” said Project 21 spokesman Cherylyn Harley LeBon. “And Gore’s memory appears selective. While suggesting the attitudes instilled by the civil rights movement be similarly used to advance an idea he supports, but many scientists argue is not based in science or proven policies, Al Gore seems to have conveniently forgotten his own family’s history. His father, Senator Al Gore Sr., voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1965 and has the shameful distinction of participating in one of the longest filibusters in the history of the U.S. Senate opposing civil rights legislation.”
Project 21 fellow Deneen Borelli added: “The real race problem associated with Gore’s assault on fossil fuels is that increased regulation leads to higher energy prices — a regressive tax that specifically harms low-income black families. While members of the elite such as Al Gore can afford energy at virtually any price, skyrocketing fuel and utility costs reduce the standard of living for hardworking American families. High energy prices also drives jobs overseas, contributing to slower economic growth and high unemployment.”