WASHINGTON, D.C. — Al Gore says that recent environmental devastation and extreme weather, more than anything, is what is changing minds on the climate crisis.
Appearing at a SiriusXM/Variety town hall on Thursday, tied to the release of Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s new movie “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” Gore traces climate denial to the economic meltdown in 2008. Before that, the nominees of both parties, Barack Obama and John McCain, acknowledged that action needed to be taken to address climate change.
“You saw, really, the beginning of the modern fever of climate denial in the Republican party start then,” Gore said in the town hall. “But we are seeing pushback, now, and we are seeing a lot of changes with people who don’t want to engage in the argument. They don’t even feel comfortable using the phrase global warming. But they understand…that they have an obligation to their kids, and every night on the network news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelations. Even if the newscasters don’t connect the dots, people are saying, ‘Wait a minute. Something’s going on here.'”
Gore says that President Trump “has surrounded himself with a rogue’s gallery of climate deniers, and they are doing their best to dismantle the environmental protection agency, seemingly, and anything that promotes good climate policy they seem to be on a search and destroy mission in the budget.”
He was joined in the town hall by Shenk and Cohen, whose credits include the movie “The Island President,” about the efforts of the leader of the Maldives to address rising sea levels that threaten to wipe out the country.
The SiriusXM/Variety town hall on “An Inconvenient Sequel” airs at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS 124. It will be rebroadcast on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT, and Sunday at noon ET/9 a.m. PT.
The town hall was hosted by Variety‘s Ted Johnson, host of SiriusXM’s “PopPolitics.” The producer was SiriusXM’s Patrick Ferrise.
The movie opens in limited release on July 28, and is in expanded release on Aug. 4.
Listen to clips from the town hall below:
Gore says that the “decades just ahead will be a test of the courage and character of mankind.”
Gore says that the courts may be a check on some of the Trump administration’s actions to dismantle previous actions to address carbon emissions.
Gore talks about trying to maintain hope amid big setbacks in trying to trigger action on climate change.
Gore said that his meeting with Trump, during the transition period, was “cordial,” but ultimately did not convince Trump of the necessity of staying in the Paris agreement.
Shenk talks about how the movie changed after Trump announced his decision on the Paris agreement.
Cohen talks about how they approached the movie differently from “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Photo: Getty Images.