Vice President Calls for Scientific Literacy, Informed Debate

Published January 1, 1999

Editor’s note: Vice President Al Gore’s extreme views on global warming and other environment issues have often been reported and rebutted on this page. We are pleased and surprised then, to pass along the following item reporting Gore’s interest in “informed and rational debate.” A good start, we think, would be for the Vice President to stop claiming that skeptics of the global warming scare are part of an industry-funded public relations campaign.

In an editorial about scientific literacy Vice President Al Gore decried what he perceives to be industry’s exploitation of the public’s scientific ignorance to oppose ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

“Industry opponents of the Kyoto Protocol are also attempting to undermine public support for the protocol by funding a massive public relations campaign attacking the findings of the world’s expert climate scientists,” says Gore. “This assault takes political advantage of the fact that too many Americans lack sufficient science literacy to tell the difference between sound science and sound bites.”

Gore goes on to say, “public understanding and support for reasonable climate change policies will be critical. But scientific literacy is necessary if we are to engage in an informed and rational debate. Unfortunately, scientific illiteracy means that too many Americans will be easy marks for anti-scientific public relation ploys.”

Someone should remind the Vice President that over 17,000 scientifically literate persons signed the Oregon Petition that rejected the global warming hypothesis.

From Cooler Heads, a biweekly report on the politics, science, and economics of global warming, by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.