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Gore: ‘If The Crib’s On Fire, You Don’t Speculate That The Baby Is Flame-Retardant’

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"Gore: ‘If The Crib’s On Fire, You Don’t Speculate That The Baby Is Flame-Retardant’"

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At the House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing today, leading climate skeptic Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) tried to cast doubt on the science behind global warming, claiming “even the mainstream media are now noticing that global warming science is uneven and evolving.”

Vice President Al Gore rebuffed Barton’s attempts to interrupt his testimony and quickly debunked the claim that the recent warming trend is ordinary. Gore noted, “20 of the 21 hottest years ever measured in the human record have been in the last 25 years. The 10 hottest have been since 1990. The hottest was 2005. The hottest in the United States of America was 2006. The hottest winter ever measured globally was December of last year.”

Mocking global warming deniers, Gore said, “The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say, well I read a science fiction novel that tells me it’s not a problem. If the crib’s on fire, you don’t speculate that the baby is flame-retardant. You take action. The planet has a fever.” Watch the highlights:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/03/gorebarton.320.240.flv]

Watch Gore’s opening statement, courtesy of PoliticsTV, at Gore’s blog.

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Transcript:

BARTON: The first thing I want to address is the science of global warming as portrayed in the Vice President’s film An Inconvenient Truth. This is something I believe we absolutely have to get right. Even the main stream media, Mr. Vice President, are now noticing that global warming science is uneven and evolving. we need to be deliberative and careful when we talk about so-called facts.

[...]

BARTON: But it remains a fact, and it’s clear from the data that we do have, that for hundreds of thousands of years, CO2 levels have followed temperature rise, not the other way around, as you preach.

[...]

GORE: That’s exactly what the models predict. That’s exactly what the science says –

BARTON: Mr. Vice President, my time is up. What’s your answer on the CAFE increase?

GORE: If I could complete my response, congressman.

BARTON: I hope that there’s an answer in there somewhere.

GORE: May I?

BARTON: I’d like to have an answer to the straight question.

GORE: Well you asked quite a few of them. And I’m doing my best. On CO2 and temperature, when CO2 goes up, temperature goes up. That is why 20 of the 21 hottest years ever measured in the human record have been in the last 25 years.

The 10 hottest have been since 1990.

The hottest was 2005.

The hottest in the United States of America was 2006.

The hottest winter ever measured globally was December of last year, and January and February of this year — last month. This is going on right now.

The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don’t say, well I read a science fiction novel that tells me it’s not a problem. If the crib’s on fire, you don’t speculate that the baby is flame-retardant. You take action. The planet has a fever.

[...]

BARTON: The temperature goes up before CO2 goes up.

GORE: Sometimes, that has been true in the past. The opposite has also been true in the past. But what is happening now is that we, because of human action, are overwhelming all of those cycles.

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