Lucky old Americans. They only had to put up with one fruitcake as president, in Donald Trump. It could have been worse. But for a few hanging chads in Florida in the 2000 Presidential election, they could have ended up with Al Gore.
It isn’t just the hanging chads, though, that have become unhinged, but Gore himself. In an extraordinary speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, an increasingly crimson Gore angrily berated the rest of the world – Greta Thunberg and other youthful activists excepted – for failing to realise just how close we are to climate apocalypse. ‘People are familiar with the thin blue line which astronauts bring back in their pictures from space,’ he began. ‘That’s the part of the atmosphere which has the oxygen and it’s only 5 to 7 km thick. That’s what we are using as an open sewer.’
Actually, the troposphere is twice that thick, and there is plenty of oxygen in the much-thicker stratosphere which lies above it. If there wasn’t, Gore would never have made it to Davos – his jet would have plunged to the ground as its engines spluttered and died. But let’s leave that aside.
Gore went on to claim that the carbon dioxide trapped in the atmosphere was trapping as much heat ‘as would be released by 600,000 Hiroshima bombs released on Earth every day. 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’. His Hiroshima comparison seems to have come from a calculation made by the Guardian, and others, of the warming of the oceans in a single year.