Al Gore calls Obama timid for failure to take on climate change. John Norquist points out that Gore himself tabled his beliefs on climate change and suburban sprawl during the 2000 campaign.
Norquist, CEO & President of the Congress for the New Urbanism and former mayor of Milwaukee, calls for Gore to pick up where he left off more than a decade ago with regard to land use and transportation.
"Gore could use his stature to promote ending heavy tax subsidies for sprawl-inducing highways, separate-use zoning and for large lot single family housing that all have negative side effects. Doing so would help the United States reduce its carbon profile and make the economy more efficient. Conservative economist Ed Glaeser's latest book, Triumph of the City, highlights the economic and environmental benefits that flow from cities. Glaeser notes that per capita energy consumption in Manhattan is 25 percent of the US national average. Glaeser demonstrates that compact urban development is not only energy efficient, but serves as a setting for inventiveness, entrepreneurship, and wealth producing markets. Go to Al Gore's website though and there is almost nothing about urban policy, land-use, and US living patterns. If a conservative like Glaeser can recognize the value of urbanism, why can't Gore?
"Gore's critique of Obama as too cautious is not inaccurate. Yet, President Obama has begun to move federal policy in the right direction by ordering the EPA, HUD, and the USDOT to work together on a sustainability partnership to better serve the needs of cities, regions and states. Yes, the president should be more forceful and enthusiastically promote his agenda addressing climate change. Gore's criticisms would prove far more effective however if he hadn't shied away from the very same issue in the 2000 campaign. As such, Gore's remarks read as hollow as Obama's measured silence. Both the 2000 election and the 2010 congressional elections show what happens when Democrats hide their true beliefs and campaign on banalities — they lose."