UPDATED with video Former Vice President Al Gore thought President Donald Trump might “come to his senses” by reconsidering his rejection of the Paris Climate Accord, Gore said tonight on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher.
“But I was wrong,” Gore said, admitting a temporary Trump Tower defeat. (See a brief clip of the episode below.)
At Maher’s needling suggestion that Gore had “met with Ivanka” post-Paris, Gore insisted he actually met with Trump père himself. To no avail, though: The President quickly re-committed himself to keeping the U.S. rowing against the tide.
(In fact, just hours before Gore’s Real Time appearance, the U.S. State Department officially informed the U.N. of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement).
Gore, making the publicity rounds for his An Inconvenient Sequel doc, seemed both optimistic and pragmatic when pushed by Maher on whether the planet has reached the long-predicted tipping point toward eventual climate disaster.
Quoting scientists as saying we have not “crossed a point of no return,” Gore said,”We can still avoid the most catastrophic consequences if we start acting boldly.”
Still, he added, news of the cracking of that huge Antarctic ice sheet “hit me pretty hard.”
“It does mean there’s going to be considerable sea level rise no matter what we do,” Gore said.
Maher, with a punchline set-up as big as any iceberg, asked Gore whether rise in sea levels would mean the losses of Venice and Florida. “And who would know better about losing Florida?”
“Actually,” Gore returned, “I think I carried Florida.”
Later in the interview, Gore reiterated his oft-stated opinion that the electoral college belongs to the past, and agreed with Maher that Mars is not a “back-up planet” for a climate-damaged Earth.
“We couldn’t even evacuate New Orleans,” Gore quipped.
Also on tonight’s show were conservative activist Ralph Reed, Jr., GOP political strategist Kristen Soltis Anderson, journalist Joshua Green and CNN’s international affairs analyst, Michael Weiss.