Al Gore Says Top COVID Lesson Also Applies to Climate Change

Former U.S. vice president-turned-environmentalist Al Gore said Monday that one major lesson that should be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that the warnings by scientists should be heeded and not casually dismissed by politicians.

Gore responded to the Monday publishing of a "deafening" United Nations climate change report which bluntly stated that human activities are "unequivocally" causing Earth's temperature to rise.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, released perhaps its most urgently worded report which warned that some current man-made damage to the Earth might become irreversible in a matter of years. The report and numerous activists, including Gore, have stressed the need for immediate worldwide decarbonization.

U.N. officials described Monday's report as a "code red for humanity" as they joined environmental activists in offering the collective warning, "it's just guaranteed that it's going to get worse," said co-author of the report, Linda Mearns, a senior scientist at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research. "Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide."

Global surface temperature data showed that Earth is in for a drastic overall increase in heat waves and other severe weather patterns by 2040. The report predicted a significantly greater number of devastating fires, floods and other extreme weather events in the coming decades should temperatures rise at the current rate.

Gore, who was behind the acclaimed 2006 global warming film "An Inconvenient Truth," on Monday used the release of the U.N. report to compare the global crises of COVID-19 and climate change—and what scientists have done to protect people.

"One of the most important lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic is that when scientists are warning about a looming threat, we all ought to listen. Today, the @IPCC_CH is once again sounding the alarm on the climate crisis and their warning is clearer than ever," the former vice president and Tennessee Democratic senator and representative tweeted Monday, highlighting the IPCC report.

The U.N. panel first released its climate change report in 1992 after being formed to tackle the issue in 1988. The IPCC has been criticized by some in the past for offering projections that many environmental activists viewed as too conservative.

But Monday's report invoked some of its most blunt and urgent messaging, particularly about decarbonization and a dramatic reduction in greenhouse gases across the world.

"Our report shows that we need to be prepared for going into that level of warming in the coming decades. But we can avoid further levels of warming by acting on greenhouse gas emissions," report co-chair Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a climate scientist at France's Laboratory of Climate and Environment Sciences at the University of Paris-Saclay, said in an interview with the Associated Press on Monday.

Newsweek reached out to the IPCC as well as representatives for Gore on Monday afternoon for any additional remarks about the latest U.N. climate report.

al gore climate change covid
Former Vice President Al Gore, who was behind the acclaimed 2006 global warming film "An Inconvenient Truth," on Monday used the release of a U.N. report to compare the global crises of COVID-19 and climate change. Above, Gore speaks on the importance of renewable energy at Fordham Law School in Manhattan on July 18, 2019, in New York City. SCOTT HEINS / Stringer/Getty Images