- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Returning to the state where his own White House ambitions came to a grinding halt, former Vice President Al Gore told Florida voters Tuesday that Hillary Clinton is the only candidate in the race who will fight climate change, warning that Donald Trump would cause a “climate catastrophe” if elected in November.

In his first and likely only appearance on the campaign trail this election cycle, Mr. Gore called himself “exhibit A” in the argument that every single vote counts. The former Tennessee senator, now a high-profile climate change activist, lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush after coming up 527 votes short in Florida.

“Your vote really, really, really counts. A lot. You can consider me exhibit A of that truth,” he told a Miami crowd. “Elections have consequences. Your vote counts. Your vote has consequences … If you are on the fence about whether to vote, remember what is at stake in this election. And if you think your vote does not matter, take it from me: Your vote can make all of the difference in this election.”

Mr. Gore linked his every-vote-counts pitch to climate change, praising Mrs. Clinton for her plan to reduce dependence on oil, natural gas, and coal, and speed up investment in solar panels and wind energy. Mr. Gore said the proposal is “right at the limit of what we can do” and is an appropriately ambitious climate agenda.

Mr. Trump, on the other hand, has said he opposes the landmark Paris climate deal, has voiced strong support for coal, and has taken other positions deeply problematic for climate activists such as Mr. Gore.

“Her opponent, based on the ideas that he has presented, would take us toward a climate catastrophe,” the former vice president said. “The question in this election … is which of these candidates is going to continue the progress and actually increase the rate of progress? With Hillary Clinton, we’ll build on the progress made under President Obama.”

Tuesday’s speech is expected to be Mr. Gore’s only appearance on behalf of Mrs. Clinton. In introducing Mr. Gore, Mrs. Clinton praised his work on climate change and vowed to seek his advice on environmental policy if elected president.

“We cannot risk putting a climate denier in the White House, at all. That is absolutely unacceptable. We need a president who believes in science and who has a plan to lead America inf acing this threat, and creating good jobs, and yes, saving our planet,” she said.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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