Former Vice President Al Gore on Wednesday told lawmakers that action on global warming cannot wait until the economy recovers.
In three hours of testimony that at times looked like a sequel to the Oscar-winning documentary based on his book “An Inconvenient Truth,” Gore pressed Congress to pass President Obama's economic stimulus plan as a first step to bringing greenhouse gases under control.
He also pushed for decisive action on a bill this year to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases, saying the legislation is needed for the U.S. to take a leading role in negotiations on a new international climate treaty.
Gore flipped through more than four dozen slides showing melting ice caps, deforestation and oxygen-depleted seas.
“We must face up to this urgent and unprecedented threat to the existence of our civilization at a time when our country must simultaneously solve two other worsening crises,” Gore told the panel.
It was Gore's first appearance before Congress since March 2007. Six months ago, he called for the U.S. to produce all of its electricity from carbon-free sources within the next 10 years.
Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to combat global warming, said the recession and wars should not delay passage of climate change legislation or U.S. participation in a new climate treaty.