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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.”


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