Recently, NASA climate scientist James Hansen drew some fire for drawing a comparison between train loads of coal with Holocaust "death trains," noting that global warming, fueled by burning coal, would lead to the extermination of many species.
Al Gore, in accepting the Nobel Peace Prize yesterday, also drew a comparison between global warming and that awful moment in human history. He suggested those leaders who ignore the threat of climate change now are stuck in a state similar to the state that froze those leaders who appeased Hitler.
"Despite a growing number of honorable exceptions," Gore said, "too many of the world's leaders are still best described in the words Winston Churchill applied to those who ignored Adolf Hitler's threat: 'They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.'"
Gore has been upping the rhetorical ante for years, trying to inspire action. The Nobel Peace Prize, which he shares with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is a high validation of his work, and his words likening our current inaction to the inaction that allowed for the Holocaust should stand as a reminder that countless human lives and species hang in the balance. He sees that we are at an important historical moment, and that we will be judged by future generations based on our decision.
His basic message: "We must act."
Click here to read excerpts from his speech.
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