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NBC's Andrea Mitchell Frets Over Climate Change to Al Gore: 'Do We Still Have Time?'

In an interview with Al Gore aired on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, correspondent Andrea Mitchell treated the former Vice President like a climate change prophet: "Floods. Fires. Historic drought. Some of the dire consequences Al Gore warns about if we don't act on climate change. Do we still have time?" [Listen to the audio]

Gore replied: "...the worst of it can still be avoided. But we do need to act quickly." He then applauded President Obama for prominently mentioning the issue in his inaugural address, prompting Mitchell to lament: "But Gore has been disappointed before. 2008 campaign promises on climate change were trumped by the economic crisis and died in the Senate."

During an extensive two-part interview with Gore on Tuesday's Today, co-host Matt Lauer went so far as to ask if the climate activist felt "vindicated" by recent deadly natural disasters.

In her Wednesday exchange with Gore, Mitchell did press him on his recent $500 million sale of Current TV to the oil-funded Al Jazeera network: "A lifelong environmental advocate, now Gore is being challenged for his own energy deal....Isn't there something inherently hypocritical about taking money, and a lot of money, from an oil producer?"

Lauer pushed the same left-wing concern on Tuesday, but neither he nor Mitchell grilled Gore on Al Jazeera's history of anti-Americanism and support for Islamic fundamentalism.

Wrapping up the Nightly News segment, Mitchell did manage to parrot Gore's call for gun control: "Gore was the last presidential candidate to take on the gun lobby and he paid a heavy price, even losing his home state of Tennessee. Now he says that the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary has to be the crossing of a line beyond which we finally have to act."

Here is a full transcript of Mitchell's January 30 Nightly News report:

7:16PM ET

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Former Senator, Vice President, and presidential nominee Al Gore is out with a new book entitled, The Future. And while he's getting credit for being out ahead on the issue of climate change for years, he is also facing some criticism for selling the TV network he owned to the Al Jazeera media empire, owned by the oil-producing nation of Qatar. NBC's Andrea Mitchell talked to him about all of it.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Floods. Fires. Historic drought. Some of the dire consequences Al Gore warns about if we don't act on climate change. Do we still have time?

AL GORE: Yes. Some of the changes will continue to unfold for a long time. But the worst of it can still be avoided. But we do need to act quickly.

MITCHELL: Last week, a major commitment at the inaugural.

BARACK OBAMA: We will respond to the threat of climate change.

GORE: I think that is a form of commitment that has consequences. He will have to follow up on this.

MITCHELL: But Gore has been disappointed before. 2008 campaign promises on climate change were trumped by the economic crisis and died in the Senate.

A lifelong environmental advocate, now Gore is being challenged for his own energy deal. The sale of his fledgling cable network, Current TV, to Al Jazeera, owned by the oil and gas-producing Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, for a reported $500 million.

GORE: I completely understand the criticism and the point of view that you're reporting. But the fact is that Al Jazeera stands all around the world as a highly respected international news-gathering organization.

MITCHELL: Isn't there something inherently hypocritical about taking money, and a lot of money, from an oil producer?

GORE: The point you're making is one that I understand very, very clearly. I do disagree with it.

MITCHELL: Gore's life has taken a dramatic turn since the 2000 campaign. After 40 years of marriage, he and Tipper made a mutual decision to separate.

GORE: We have a wonderful relationship. We're very close friends. We had all the children and grandchildren for Christmas.

MITCHELL: Gore was the last presidential candidate to take on the gun lobby and he paid a heavy price, even losing his home state of Tennessee. Now he says that the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary has to be the crossing of a line beyond which we finally have to act.

WILLIAMS: Interesting to see the former Vice President.

MITCHELL: Really is.

WILLIAMS: Andrea Mitchell, thank you, as always.