Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore warned of “rain bombs” and “boiling” oceans in an emotional speech about climate change at a gathering of global elites at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland on Wednesday.
Gore’s impassioned plea to fight climate change or face disaster—a common theme at the WEF summit—came during a panel on the second day of the elite gathering of world leaders and corporate executives in the Swiss ski resort of Davos on Wednesday.
“We are not winning. The crisis is still getting worse faster than we are deploying these solutions,” Gore said.
The former VP claimed that human actions were causing the Earth’s atmosphere to be treated as an “open air sewer” for greenhouse gases linked to global warming.
“People are familiar with that thin blue line that the astronauts bring back in their pictures from space? That’s the part of the atmosphere that has oxygen, the troposphere, and it’s only five to seven kilometers thick. That’s what we’re using as an open sewer,” Gore said at the WEF summit.
To drive home the apparent severity of the problem, he compared the impact to a nuclear holocaust.
“We’re still putting 162 million tons [of greenhouse gas] into it every single day and the accumulated amount is now trapping as much extra heat as would be released by 600,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs exploding every single day on the earth,” he said.
Gore listed what he thinks are some of the detrimental consequences of climate change, including “rain bombs” and “boiling” oceans.
“That’s what’s boiling the oceans, creating these atmospheric rivers, and the rain bombs, and sucking the moisture out of the land, and creating the droughts, and melting the ice, and raising the sea level, and causing these waves of climate refugees!” Gore said.
He dove into the idea of a global warming-induced refugee crisis, claiming that the number of people escaping the consequences of climate change is “predicted to reach 1 billion in this century.”
Gore blamed climate change for the rise in authoritarianism, suggesting that liberal democracies are being undermined by forces that seek to exploit refugee flows for political benefit.
By Tom Ozimek