Gore at the Democratic Convention: Does He Send Mixed Messages about Climate Change and Partisanship?


One image of Gore: A partisan activist and leader.

CNN reports this afternoon that Al Gore will have a major speaking slot at the Democratic convention, joining Obama on stage the last night of the convention in front of a stadium crowd of 70,000.

I am a big fan of Al Gore and often think about how history and this country would be different if Gore had run a more competent presidential campaign in 2000. Yet I can't also help but observe the strong partisan message that Gore continues to indirectly send on climate change.

Various poll analyses reveal that despite Al Gore's Nobel prize winning Inconvenient Truth campaign and a record spike in mainstream news attention, a deep partisan divide remains on the topic, with a majority of Republicans continuing to dispute the validity of the science and the urgency of the matter, while also believing that the media has greatly exaggerated the problem.

Gore has been a great champion for action on climate change, yet if he is going to make the issue his life's work he needs to leave behind overtly partisan political appearances and speeches. As long as Gore continues to be both the lead spokesperson on climate change and also a major Democratic activist, it is all too easy for the miserly public to continue to reach judgments about climate change relying almost exclusively on their perceptual lens of ideology.


The other image of Gore: Climate change advocate appearing with IPCC scientists to accept joint Nobel Peace Prize, which conservatives then derided as "the Kentucky Derby of the world left."

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less