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Gore Takes Global Warming Message to Congress

Former Vice President Al Gore greets members of a joint congressional hearing on climate change.
Former Vice President Al Gore greets members of a joint congressional hearing on climate change.

Al Gore took his climate-change crusade to Congress on Wednesday, telling lawmakers that they need to adopt an immediate freeze on greenhouse gases in order to fight global warming.

The former vice president — and star of the film An Inconvenient Truth — spoke about global warming with the House Energy committee and the Senate Environment committee.

"The planet has a fever," Gore said. "If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, 'Well, I read a science-fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem.'"

Even once-skeptical Republicans are coming over to Gore's side — and it seems the debate has shifted from arguing whether there is a climate crisis to disagreement over how to fix it.

The science is settled, Gore told the lawmakers. Carbon-dioxide emissions — from cars, power plants, buildings and other sources — are heating the Earth's atmosphere.

Gore said that if left unchecked, global warming could lead to a drastic change in the weather, sea levels and other aspects of the environment. And he pointed out that these conclusions are not his, but those of a vast majority of scientists who study the issue.

Members of the committee, Democrats and Republicans alike, listened very carefully to Gore, as they seemed to take to heart his final message: that in a few years this whole debate will look very different.

"This is not a partisan issue, this is a moral issue," Gore said. "And our children are going to be demanding this."

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