Throwback Thursday Video: That time Al Gore pushed environmental hysteria…on The 700 Club


VIRGINIA BEACH, VA, October 30, 2014 ( – It's nearly Halloween, so what would be more appropriate than an Al Gore frightfest? Today's throwback video is the surreal scene of the future vice president hawking his environmentalist hysteria during an interview with Pat Robertson on The 700 Club.

Had the 1988 primaries gone differently, the two might have faced each other across a debate stage to determine who would become the next president of the United States, the successor to Ronald Reagan and leader of the free world. Instead, they met via video hook-up on January 31, 1992, to discuss Gore's alarmist tome, Earth in the Balance.

The interview is remarkable for a number of reasons.

1. Gore's book was bonkers. Thanks to his 1988 presidential campaign, Gore had an image as a centrist Southern Democrat. In Earth in the Balance, Gore originated the line that global warming deniers are the new Nazis. He warns of “an environmental holocaust without precedent,” where “leaders waffle” even as “the evidence of an ecological Kristallnacht is as clear as the sound of glass shattering in Berlin.” He excoriated the human race's “age-old practice of exploiting the earth for sustenance, for food, water, shelter, clothing, and our other basic needs.” (Unforgivable.) And he suggested “eliminating the internal combustion engine over, say, a 25-year period.” According to liberal biographer David Maraniss in The Prince of Tennessee, Gore originally wanted to title his book The New World War – its eventual title was chosen at the last minute – so that may explain the martial tone. Gore wisely omits the more extreme statements before the conservative Christian audience.

2. Al Gore flubs the Bible on Christian TV. The former Vanderbilt Beauty School Divinity School dropout totally bungled the Parable of the Unfaithful Servant. It's usually called the Parable of the Faithful Servant, and it doesn't say anything about thieves breaking in anywhere, although there is a similar phrase elsewhere in the Bible. Pat doesn't say anything, but someone with a mic (Sheila Walsh perhaps?) coughs.

3. Pat gives a softball interview. The closest the interview comes to mild disagreement is when Pat tried to turn the conversation away from blaming industrialization and toward the inefficient farming methods of Amazon tribes. Gore also made a considerate reference to Pat's father, the late Senator A. Willis Robertson, who served in the Senate with Al Gore Sr. Comity prevails. In fairness, this was likely one of the preconditions to obtaining the interview, and. Robertson was undoubtedly eager to convince the FCC that his Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)/Family Channel – he hadn't yet sold the network that would become the execrable ABC Family – was non-partisan. The Earth in the Balance interview could be used as an example of, well, balance.

4. It's freakin' Pat Robertson and Al Gore.

Of course, a few months after this interview, Bill Clinton would tap Gore to become his vice president. Bill would call his political vision “a New Covenant.” (Messianic capitalization in original.) Then the pair would sic Lois Lerner on Robertson, as the FEC charged that the Christian Coalition‘s mass distribution of pro-Republican voter education guides violated federal election law. (The charges were eventually thrown out.) Later, their FCC would later try to pass a regulation forcing religious broadcasters to dedicate 50 percent of their broadcast day to secular “educational” programming.

Bipartisanship pays!

Still, in 2008, Pat Robertson would form an odder partnership, shooting a TV spot with “Rev.” Al Sharpton on behalf of environmentalism – for the "We Can Solve It" global warming ad campaign sponsored by Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection. But he later called global warming “idiocy,” so apparently he didn't buy in. (Neither should you.)

Is it a trick or a treat? Watch and decide.

Ben Johnson is U.S. Bureau Chief of, the guest host of Nothing But Truth with Crane Durhamon AFR Talk Radio, and the author of three books. His personal website is Connect with him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

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