Published December 04, 2009
Just days ahead of an international climate change conference, global warming guru and former Vice President Al Gore has been hit by an inconvenient scandal -- one that's reverberated all the way back to Hollywood.
Two conservative screenwriters say Gore should be stripped of his Oscar in light of the global warming questions raised by leaked e-mails out of a British research center.
The former vice president earned the Oscar in 2007 for his climate change manifesto "An Inconvenient Truth." He later went on to earn a Nobel Peace Prize and become one of the world's leading authorities on global warming.
But Roger Simon and Lionel Chetwynd, both members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, put out a statement Thursday calling for the Academy to take it all back in light of the controversy skeptics have dubbed Climate-Gate.
"I personally call for the Academy to rescind this Oscar," Simon said. "In the history of the Academy ... not to my knowledge has an Oscar ever been rescinded. ... I think they should rescind this one."
Though their demand will almost certainly not be met, it marks the latest effort by conservatives to draw attention to the controversy in the run-up to an international climate change conference next week in Copenhagen -- where Gore just canceled a lecture he was supposed to deliver.
Republicans on Capitol Hill are demanding hearings on the topic, after leaked e-mails from the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit showed scientists appearing to discuss manipulating climate change data.
Simon is the founder of Pajamas Media, whose Web site posted the Gore criticism Thursday. Chetwynd is a screenwriter.
The former vice president and Nobel Peace Prize winner had been scheduled to speak to more than 3,000 people at a Dec. 16 event hosted by the Berlingske Tidende newspaper group. The group says Gore canceled the lecture Thursday, citing unforeseen changes in his schedule.
Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider says the decision was made because of "all the events going on with the summit." Dec. 16 is a key date for the meeting because that's when the ministerial segment starts.
Chief editor Lisbeth Knudsen says it's a "great disappointment" that Gore canceled and that all tickets will be refunded.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.