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Does Al Gore Deserve to Win the Prestigious Peace Prize?

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," October 9, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Al Gore has already won an Oscar and a Grammy for his movie "An Inconvenient Truth." He even has an Emmy for his youth-oriented television channel called Current TV. And now the former vice president is being tapped as the favorite to win the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to combat climate change.

Not everyone approves of Gore's nomination. Critics point to inconsistencies in the signs of global warming, and they believe that Gore is not so green in his lifestyle, but the results will be announced on Friday.

Joining us now, senior fellow of environment policy at the Heartland Institute, James Taylor, and global warming director for Greenpeace, Chris Miller.

James, if nothing else, Al Gore has brought this issue to the fore. He has us talking about it here right now. And whether you agree with him or not, he is raising consciousness about the planet. That in and of itself is a good thing, is it not?

JAMES TAYLOR, HEARTLAND INSTITUTE SR. FELLOW: Well, he's distorting the science, and he's raising an issue that does not threaten us scientifically, yet threatens to take away our standard of living for our children and our grandchildren.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: It's called — It's called about caring about the planet.

COLMES: Is there not a melting of the Arctic ice caps?

TAYLOR: There is a growth in the Antarctic ice cap. There is currently a corresponding growth in the Arctic ice cap. But just this week, NASA released a study indicating that the receding of the Arctic sea ice has nothing to do with global warming and has to do with wind patterns.

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: Well, that's what you're saying, and that's not what is said by people like the Natural Resources Defense Council — let me go to Mr. Miller.

TAYLOR: I'd trust NASA over the Natural Resources Defense Council. This is their press release, their study.

COLMES: Let's — that's not what they're saying. They're saying there's a definite correlation behind it.

TAYLOR: October 1st, October 1st, it's right there.

COLMES: Well, go to their Web site, and they say exactly the opposite.

Mr. Miller, let's get the truth out here.

CHRIS MILLER, GREENPEACE USA: I think the fact is the overwhelming consensus of science is clear on this. And I think what you're seeing are personal attacks on the former vice president. The fact is the science about global warming is the single largest set of peer-reviewed science in the history of the planet. And the consensus of the scientific community is that the planet is warming and that the burning of fossil fuels is the cause of it. It's that simple.

COLMES: It's not even an issue.

James, do not believe that carbon dioxide and other air pollutants are going out into the atmosphere, causing a warming? You don't believe that?

TAYLOR: Well, first of all, if I can, I have the NASA press release right here. You said I should go to their Web site. Here it is printed up from the NASA Web site. I'm holding it in my hand. But right here...and also...

COLMES: No, you're saying NASA. I'm talking about the Natural Resources Defense Council. We're talking about two different things.

TAYLOR: OK, I just wanted to make sure. You asserted that NASA doesn't...

(CROSSTALK)

COLMES: No, Natural Resources Defense Council. That's the Web site I'm talking about.

TAYLOR: OK, well, I trust NASA over the Natural Resources Defense Council.

COLMES: Well, of course you do, if they agree with you.

(CROSSTALK)

MILLER: ... refusing to answer the question. The question is, is the planet warming from burning of fossil fuels? The scientific consensus is absolutely clear on this point.

TAYLOR: Absolutely not.

MILLER: And you can nitpick pieces of science here and there, but the fact is, the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community could not be clearer on this issue.

COLMES: So, James, you're in denial...

MILLER: We can agree or disagree around how much a particular polar ice cap or the Greenland ice sheet may be melting and over what period of time. The planet is warming, and there's no question about that.

COLMES: So, James, you're saying that carbon dioxide being released into the air is not happening and is not warming the planet, in defiance of what almost every scientist is saying?

TAYLOR: Well, that is absolutely incorrect that most scientists say that. Indeed, a 2003 survey of more than 500 climate scientists internationally were posed the question: Do you believe that the science is settled enough to turn the issue over to policymakers? And only a minority said so.

Indeed, barely more than half believed that humans are primarily responsible for the moderate warming that's occurred. And, of course, of that, slightly more than half, many of those would say that our current warming is not a crisis and does not intend to be so.

HANNITY: Hey, Chris, it's Sean Hannity. You know — you know what's amazing? If you go back and read "Newsweek" in 1973, and the agenda-driven environmental alarmists then said, oh, that the consensus among the scientists is there's global cooling. If you go back to the first Earth Day, we've shown the video on this program, people holding up signs, "The next Ice Age is coming."

You know, we have put up scientists, meteorologists, expert, one after another, hundreds and hundreds of them, that disagree with Al Gore and disagree with you, but you guys continue to repeat this myth that this evidence is overwhelming and incontrovertible.

MILLER: This is not about Al Gore, Sean.

HANNITY: I'm sorry, I've run a list of them.

MILLER: This is not about Al Gore. The fact is, Al Gore presented science, and that science is backed up by the IPCC, National Academies of Science in the U.S. and around the world. This is not about Al Gore.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I know and I've rolled — I"ve scrolled all...

MILLER: And in comparing a "Newsweek" article from the mid-'70s to the broad body of peer-reviewed science that is now available on this issue is disingenuous.

HANNITY: But what I'm pointing out to you is — you've missed my point. I'm saying that the same people that have an agenda then used the same arguments that you're using today. Let me ask you this. Do you think that, if Al Gore is going to lecture Americans about a planetary emergency, if he's going to lecture Americans how they need to walk to work and ride their bicycles to work, do you think that he should be flying around the country as he does in private jets? Do you think that he should be excusing...

MILLER: Sean, this is what you and others do.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: No, no. I don't know what I want to do...

MILLER: You can't debunk the science, and so you go after him for the way he travels. The fact is, Al Gore has done more to educate the American public on this issue...

HANNITY: You're a broken talking point.

MILLER: ... than anybody else.

HANNITY: You know, I'll ask James. James, we've got video of Al Gore just a month ago getting off a private jet. We now know, because we've investigated his — one of his three homes, he uses 20 times the electricity as the average American. I'm sick of getting lectured by hypocrites, aren't you?

TAYLOR: Well, that certainly seems hypocritical, but I think even a stronger issue is the fact that Chris here and Al Gore in his movie, they make all sorts of bold assertions without any scientific evidence. Alan will chime in and say that, well, the Natural Resources Defense Council disagrees. Well, they're an activist group.

Here I showed, right here, the NASA press release. This is NASA. This is not an activist group, stating that it's abnormal wind patterns that have broken up the Arctic sea ice and kicked it south. Indeed, just this morning, here is a photograph of the Antarctic sea ice. What you see is history being made. Never before in recorded history has the sea ice extended as much as we see in this photograph in the pink area. This is not a Natural Resources Defense Council...

(CROSSTALK)

TAYLOR: ... this is NASA, and this is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

HANNITY: We appreciate your time.

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