Paul  Kengor

“How can ANYONE take this man seriously?” writes Marilyn, a frequent reader of our Center for Vision & Values articles.

Attached to Marilyn’s email was this headline, “Gore compares climate change fight to war against Nazis.” As the accompanying article noted, Al Gore, speaking at the World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford, warned his audience—mostly British—of the imperative to confront climate change, as Britain and the Allies once battled Hitler.

“The former U.S. vice president said the world lacked the political will to act,” reported the London Times, “and invoked the spirit of Winston Churchill by encouraging leaders to unite their nations to fight climate change.”

Fancying himself a contemporary Churchill, Gore sounded the clarion call, declaring that the essential missing ingredient is courage and commitment. Like the brave Sir Winston in those ominous days of the Battle of Britain, Gore stoically exhorted: “We have everything we need, except political will.”

As for those pusillanimous appeasers who cover their eyes to the need for urgent action? Presumably, they are modern Neville Chamberlains, appeasing the evil of global warming, just as history’s Great Appeaser placated Hitler.

Predictably, Al Gore’s extremist proclamations were largely ignored by the mainstream press that tragically serves as educator-in-chief to most Americans. This isn’t the kind of headline deemed newsworthy by Katie Couric and CBS News.

That brings me back to Marilyn’s email: How can anyone take this man seriously? Well, the fact is we’ve done just that for almost 20 years. Believe it or not, Gore stated precisely these things in his 1992 international bestseller Earth in the Balance. What Al Gore said in London last week is no different from what he has said—and gotten away with—for decades.

Consider some passages from Gore’s 1992 manifesto:

In one of the many deeply disturbing passages in a deeply disturbing book, Gore hailed ecological activists as “resistance fighters” and “people of conscience” engaging in a just war akin to the World War II resistance that fought the Nazis.

That thought alone is incredibly offensive, especially in what it implies of those who reject Gore’s environmental prescriptions. In particular, however, the parallel is a grave injustice to those who suffered under the Nazis. Jews ought to be outraged. Gore’s moral equivalency reveals a breathtaking lack of historical measure—odd for a man who writes on the triumph of “reason.”