Al Gore speaks at Texas Southern University on Thursday. (Photo: Climate Reality Action Fund/Instagram)
(CNSNews.com) – According to the United Nations, “every child in the world alive today will be a victim of the climate crisis,” former Vice President Al Gore told students in Texas Thursday as he launched a campaign to boost voter registration in potential swing states and rally support for “climate action.”
“The United Nations issued a report saying that every child in the world alive today will be a victim of the climate crisis, because we are seeing such dramatic changes take place,” he said at Texas Southern University.
Unveiled on Wednesday, the report Gore appeared to be referring to goes beyond climate issues alone, also highlighting conflict, ecological degradation, inequality, and “predatory commercial practices.”
In the words of a UNICEF release, a commission of child health experts found “that the health and future of every child and adolescent worldwide is under immediate threat from ecological degradation, climate change and exploitative marketing practices that push heavily processed fast food, sugary drinks, alcohol and tobacco at children.”
Gore also likened the climate campaign to the civil rights movement, according to a local media report.
“To anybody who believes that we as human beings do not have the capacity or the political will to rise to this challenge, just remember that every great morally-based movement in the history of humanity has faced times of despair and hopelessness,” he told his audience at TSU, a public historically black university.
Gore said that between May 2015 and September 2019, Houston had experienced “ten major flood events and three once-in-1,000-year downpours.”
“Now, correct me if I’m wrong – is anybody here majoring in statistics? A once-in-a-1,000-year downpour, I’m given to believe, is not supposed to occur every single year.”
Gore’s latest initiative, in conjunction with his Climate Reality Action Fund non-profit, aims to “drive voter registration and turnout and rally support for climate action in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.”
Focusing on key states – Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Nevada are named – the campaign hopes to education and mobilize young voters especially to “support bold, ambitious climate solutions and candidates at every level of government up and down the ballot.”
“We are at a political tipping point, thanks in large part to Greta Thunberg and millions of other young people speaking truth to power,” Gore said in a statement. “With the courage and moral clarity they bring to the climate movement, and the power of grassroots organizing behind them, young people will, I’m confident, be a driving force for climate action this November.”
Polling in the state last October by the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin found that 66 percent of respondents believe climate change “is happening,” 23 percent say it “is not happening,” and 12 percent are not sure.
The partisan differences were evident: While 88 percent of Democrats said climate change “is happening” and three percent said it “is not happening,” Republicans were almost evenly split, with 44 percent saying it was, and 42 percent saying it wasn’t happening.
Fifty-four percent of Democrats, 15 percent of independents, and 11 percent of Republicans said the federal government should be doing “a great deal” about climate change. Five percent of Democrats, 19 percent of independents and 37 percent of Republicans say the federal government should be doing “nothing” about it.