Former Vice President Al Gore raised a few temperatures with his recent comment comparing the “climate crisis” to the 9/11 terrorist attack.
In his closing remarks Wednesday before a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr. Gore said that “this crisis, the climate crisis, is way worse than people generally realize. Way worse.”
“The burden to act that is on the shoulders of the generation of people alive today is a challenge to our moral imagination, but this is Thermopylae,” Mr. Gore said. “This is Agincourt. This is the Battle of the Bulge. This is Dunkirk. This is 9/11. We have to rise to this occasion.”
Great Britain’s Prince Charles also weighed in, saying, “global warming, climate change and the devastating loss of biodiversity are the greatest threats humanity has ever faced.”
The blowback was heated, particularly on Mr. Gore’s comparison of climate change to 9/11, the 2001 terrorist attack that resulted in the deaths of 2,977 at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Ken Webster Jr., radio host at KPRC-AM in Houston, said that 16,000 French soldiers and 1,000 British soldiers died during the evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940.
“Imagine telling millions of people that a fraction of a degree higher in temperature is the equivalent of thousands of people dying in a giant explosion or a Nazi invasion,” said Mr. Webster in a post.
JunkScience’s Steve Milloy, a prominent climate skeptic, said it would have been more accurate to compare the “climate crisis” to the Salem witch trials, “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” and convicted con man Bernie Madoff.
“It’s crazy. It’s bizarre,” Mr. Milloy said. “His history is as bad as his climate science. None of those historical comparisons has anything to do with climate. And I know he’s just going for dramatic effect, but he’s got a history of making these crazy comparisons.”
He cited Mr. Gore’s previous comment likening the impact of climate change to 500,000 atomic bombs going off every day.
“He’s always trying to be this drama queen about climate, and it’s really not that exciting,” said Mr. Milloy. “There’s been a little bit of warming since pre-industrial times. As far as we can tell, it’s really only helped humanity and the planet. The planet is greener than ever before, and more people are living better quality lives than ever before, and he’s comparing that to 9/11? That’s insane.”
Sky News Australia host Chris Kenny accused Mr. Gore and Prince Charles of exaggerating to push their political agendas, calling their comments “frankly nuts.”
“We all ought to talk about climate change, we all ought to be talking about the science and policy options and all the different points of view, but this sort of ridiculous exaggeration, sort of one-upmanship,” Mr. Kenny said on “Paul Murray Live.”
Both the Prince of Wales and former vice president, founder of the Climate Reality Project, posed with 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg at Davos.
“Al Gore is there as a retired former vice president who’s embarrassed that he’s being upstaged by a 17-year-old surly girl from Sweden, so he’s upping the ante,” Mr. Kenny said. “It’s pathetic.”