Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell on FNC's The Kelly File, Friday 9:40pm ET/PT

NBC's Lauer Asks if Gore Feels 'Vindicated' By Deadly Natural Disasters

After initially hitting Al Gore from the left for global warming "hypocrisy" during an interview on Tuesday's NBC Today, in the second part of that interview later on the broadcast, co-host Matt Lauer praised the former Vice President for having "never shied away from the very tough issues" and wondered: "After years of calling people's attention to this issue, and now we've seen Superstorm Sandy and tornadoes and drought and extreme temperatures, do you feel vindicated?" [Listen to the audio]

Gore somberly replied: "Well, I wish that I had been wrong. And I wish that the scientists whose message I was carrying had been wrong. It's not about me. It's about us and what we do to safeguard our future." In the first part of the interview, Gore eagerly used such disasters to promote the cause: "Today is the three-month anniversary of Superstorm Sandy....These storms, it's like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation on the news every day now."

Earlier in the exchange, Lauer fretted over people disagreeing with the theory of manmade climate change:

If you talk to Americans, about four in five people in this country believe that climate change is happening, global warming is real and it's going to present a problem. But there's a group inside that large group, and it's not an insignificant group, and they don't believe that climate change is manmade or exacerbated by humans. Does that surprise you?

Gore arrogantly dismissed such opposing viewpoints:

Well, in a way, no, because there's been a lavishly funded, well-organized effort to convince – to try to convince people of falsehoods....this is a corporate-funded exercise. Large carbon polluters have business plans that depend upon them being able to use the Earth's atmospheres as an open sewer. And it's the same thing that the tobacco companies did years ago, in trying to convince people that the science linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer was not believable.

Once again, this is man who personally received $100 million by sealing his television channel to oil-rich Al Jazeera.

In the first part of the interview, Lauer similarly worried about nothing getting done on global warming:

...a lot of things that need to get accomplished simply aren't getting accomplished. When President Obama, in his second inaugural address, talked about the need to work on climate change, I know you applauded that....But you've been critical of the President over the last four years, saying that he did not get things done....are you saying that when he talked about it, President Obama talked the talk, but was unwilling to walk the walk on climate change?

Gore was repeatedly flattered throughout his Today show appearance. At the top of the show, co-host Savannah Guthrie heralded: "Man on a mission. Former Vice President Al Gore on the highs and lows of his political and personal life, the debates raging in Washington, and the very future of our planet."

During the second part of the interview, Lauer recited rave reviews of Gore's new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change: "Let me read you what Time magazine says about you and the book. They say, first of all, 'This is unfiltered Gore in all his wonky glory,' and they say, quote, 'In the classroom of life, he'll always be the kid whose hand is up.' Both fair?"

Here is a portion of part two of the January 29 interview:

8:18AM ET

MATT LAUER: From the digital revolution to the crisis of global warming, former Vice President Al Gore has never shied away from the very tough issues. Now he's sharing his vision of where the world is headed in his new book, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Vice President Gore, welcome back. Good to have you here.

AL GORE: Thank you.

LAUER: Let me read you what Time magazine says about you and the book. They say, first of all, "This is unfiltered Gore in all his wonky glory," and they say, quote, "In the classroom of life, he'll always be the kid whose hand is up." Both fair?

GORE: Oh, dear.

LAUER: Fair?

GORE: Oh, I hope not. But I've always been fascinated by the task of trying to look over the horizon and see what's coming at us. And I have indulged that passion extensively in this book.

LAUER: You write a lot about climate change and global warming and the way we view our planet. It is an issue that has shaped your life. And I want to talk to you about some polling. If you talk to Americans, about four in five people in this country believe that climate change is happening, global warming is real and it's going to present a problem. But there's a group inside that large group, and it's not an insignificant group, and they don't believe that climate change is manmade or exacerbated by humans. Does that surprise you?

GORE: Well, in a way, no, because there's been a lavishly funded, well-organized effort to convince – to try to convince people of falsehoods. And it's the same thing-
 
LAUER: By the way, the people in that group would say the same of the other group.

GORE: Yes, I understand. But it's – what's different is this is a corporate-funded exercise. Large carbon polluters have business plans that depend upon them being able to use the Earth's atmospheres as an open sewer. And it's the same thing that the tobacco companies did years ago, in trying to convince people that the science linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer was not believable.

LAUER: These are your words: "In today's world, the challenge of global warming has unfortunately led to an almost tribal division between those who accept the overwhelming scientific consensus and the evidence of their own senses, and those who are bound and determined to reject it. The ferocity of their opposition is treated as kind of a badge, signifying their membership in the second group and antagonism toward the first." Given that dynamic, what are the hopes for real change?

GORE: Well, that's sort of a basic trait in human nature that all of us are vulnerable to. And in times past when we have made leaps forward, to solve problems and create a brighter future, we've found ways to overcome that natural tendency to group up in tribes and fight one another.

I will say that the partisanship and antagonism in our politics today is near an all-time high. And it does need to be mitigated. I think we need to get corporate money out of politics. I think we need to diminish the role of special interests, and I think that would help.

LAUER: You know, after years of calling people's attention to this issue, and now we've seen Superstorm Sandy and tornadoes and drought and extreme temperatures, do you feel vindicated?

GORE: Well, I wish that I had been wrong. And I wish that the scientists whose message I was carrying had been wrong. It's not about me. It's about us and what we do to safeguard our future.

And, by the way, as I point out in this book, climate change is one huge problem, but we have other challenges. The advanced automation that's coming with artificial intelligence and robotics is really hollowing out the middle class. The genetic engineering revolution is crossing the boundaries between species and forcing us to realize we're in charge of evolution now. And I won't list all of the others, but we have the obligation to the future to make intelligent choices in the present that will give our kids a bright future, the way previous generations did for us.

(...)