Former Vice President Al Gore says President Barack Obama should use the clout behind his sizeable second-term victory to enact strong legislation on climate control.
“I think all who look at these circumstances should agree that President Obama does have a mandate, should he choose to use it, to act boldly to solve the climate crisis, to begin solving it,” Gore told the British daily newspaper The Guardian.
“He has the mandate. He has the opportunity, and he has the inherent ability to provide the leadership needed. I really hope that he will, and I will respectfully ask him to do exactly that.”
But, Gore added, it is also up to the public to keep pushing for decisive action on climate issues.
“Many elected officials have been frightened of the reaction should they even talk about the climate crisis much less propose the obvious solution we need to put a price on carbon,” he told The Guardian.
“It is just as plain as day. But the only way to give these elected officials more backbone is to ensure that they hear more from their constituents who are deeply and rightly concerned that they are not doing anything to stop this accelerating destruction of the global climate balance.”
He’s pushing for a tax on carbon.
While a tough political issue, “by including the carbon tax in the solution to the fiscal cliff we can [get] away from the climate cliff,” according to Gore, who has dedicated his post-political life to environmental issues.
The tax could be offset by reductions in taxes on wages, he said.
On Tuesday night, The Climate Reality Project, Gore’s non-profit advocacy group, will present a 24-hour online broadcast called “The Dirty Weather Report.”
It will include footage of Hurricane Sandy’s most devastated areas and interviews with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.