Anyone who actually looks at Gore's political record (particularly his Senatorial record) has to laugh at the notion of him being some kind of environmental advocate. I never understood why anyone would listen to him talk about anything. The man is clearly insane.
As for global warming, there is as of yet, no scientific evidence to support a theory of man-made global warming. Seriously, it's still just a theory because our understanding of atmospheric science is still so very minimal that we really don't know what the hell is going on above our heads most of the time. The inconvenient truth is that the global climate shifts all the time, sometimes colder, sometimes warmer and it always has. Every few centuries or so.
That's not to say that I don't think carbon emissions impact the environment in negative ways because they clearly do. And it has been demonstrated repeatedly that small scale local climate change (not always warming though) can be attributed to pollution as well as a host of public health problems. It's certainly possible that man made carbon gases are causing some kind of warming effect, but it's highly unlikely since the majority of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect is causesd by water vapor and not other gases anyway. In order for our emissions to impact the atmosphere at the level that so many people claim, we would have to output ten times as much crap as we currently do.
Again, I still believe in cutting back. I still believe in reducing emissions, but I don't believe in using pseudoscience babbling to justify it to the plebian masses. Environmentalism has up to this point in history been traditionally built on fear mongering and movie-plot threats (just like national security) rather than on truth and reasoned debate. The case for environmental responsibility is strong enough that we shouldn't have to resort to such cheap scare tactics to get people to reduce (and historically, populations never respond well to such cheap tactics anyway, we'd be more effective if we just gave people the straight story instead of blowing smoke up their asses).
But the scare tactics are motivated by something other than just environmentalism. A true environmentalist can get the point across without all the hand waving and doomsaying of people like Gore. But most of these public figures aren't as interested in saving the environment as they are in being right, which means they'll gladly sacrifice the truth if it serves their own vain desire to appear as an environmental savior to a large group of people. Others are profit motivated. Who do you think gets the super fund contract when cleaning up environmental hazards? Why do you think the ethanol lobby is stronger in Iowa than anywhere else in the country? I'm all for corporations supporting environmental reform, but we have to always be critical of profit-motivated entities and their other agendas when assessing the viability and effectiveness of whatever they suggest. And the same clearly goes for politicians.
The inconvenient truth is that we really know jack about global warming, whether it's happening, whether it's a risk or whether it's even possible. I remember in college, I took a class with Bill Gray, considered by most to be the Einstein of atmospheric science who's hurricane predictions every year are nationally televised and frighteningly accurate. He fully believed that the global climate was warming, but he laughed (literally, out loud) at the notion of it being man-made. "I don't know a single atmospheric scientist who takes those theories seriously. Most of the studies that support the theory are conducted by biologists, chemists or physicists, all of whom know even less than we do about the atmosphere. The studies conducted by people in the actual field of atmospheric science all seem to indicate a natural climate shift or they don't indicate anything at all." There were, as you can imagine, a lot of heated debates with self-proclaimed environmentalists and our professor that semester. But every time, he had the data and facts to back his theories up and they didn't.
I wish environmentalists would stop trying to scare everybody into agreeing with them and would just start using actual facts and data to convince people in a calm and rational manner that we should all be more responsible. I honestly believe that they'd get more converts and more action with a more reasonable approach and we'd all be better off for it.
In the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "I drank what?"