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Vieira Relentlessly Presses Gore about Presidency

     Al Gore says that most important issues facing the United States is global warming – not the war on terrorism, health care, immigration or anything else. “Today” show anchor Meredith Vieira pointed to that as reason enough for him to run for president.

 

     “But if this is the number one moral issue and the president is the key player here, then why wouldn’t the man whose face – is the face of the issue be running for president?” Vieira asked. Gore insisted the “American people” were the key players, but Vieira continued to press the question on July 5. “But, the president sets the agenda,” Vieira interrupted.

 

     Vieira insisted that Gore would have public support if he ran for president:

 

     “It seems to me that there is – on the one hand, the polls show in this country at least, people agree with you – a majority of people agree this is the number one issue in terms of our environment. And yet we [the United States] emit more greenhouse gasses than anybody, possibly China has now surpassed us,” Vieira said.

 

     As it turns out, Vieira’s facts were wrong. China has already far surpassed U.S. emissions according to the July 5 San Francisco Chronicle. The Chinese produced 6.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide, an increase of 8.4 percent from 2005. The United States is producing 5.8 billion tons, a 1.4 percent decline from 2005.

 

     Gore warned viewers of the catastrophe to come if humans keep pumping carbon dioxide into the air like an “open sewer.”

 

     Vieira asked Gore what is going to make global warming “more significant to the American public than the war in Iraq,” but Gore dodged the question and took a shot at the Bush Administration.

 

     “Well, both the war in Iraq and the climate crisis share one thing in common,” Gore responded. “In both cases, the truth was pushed aside and the facts were ignored.”

 

     In just two days, on July 7, NBC will air Gore’s Live Earth concerts – from seven locations around the globe. Although the vice president was presumably on “Today,” to promote the concerts, Vieira was more concerned with the 2008 presidential race trying to get Gore to weigh in on the other Democratic candidates.

 

     “If I do my job right, then all of them [the presidential candidates] will make this their top issue,” was all Gore would say about the subject.

 

     However, Gore did not mention the costs of how to “solve” the “climate crisis.”

 

     On July 1, in a New York Times op/ed Gore advocated pressuring the U.S. government to sign on to an international “climate crisis treaty” by the year 2009, that would require a 90 percent cut in “global warming pollution” for developed nations in addition to a 50 percent reduction in the developing world.

 

     Such a requirement would be much more severe than the Kyoto Treaty, which called for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut to 7 percent below 1990 levels. Government estimates during Clinton’s term, estimated that Kyoto would have cost taxpayers several hundred billion dollars each year.

 

     Gore also told Vieira the proceeds from his concerts – he estimated there will be about 2 billion people in the audience – will go to the non-profit Alliance for Climate Protection. He did not inform viewers than it is an organization he happens to chair. The audience will also be asked to take a 7-point pledge that includes personal changes as well as pressuring governments to regulate emissions.