A headline at Andrew Breitbart's website Breitbart.tv falsely claimed that Al Gore admitted that “temperatures cause CO2 to increase not other way around.” In fact, in Gore's 2007 congressional testimony that Breitbart highlighted, Gore acknowledged that temperature increases have occasionally preceded CO2 increases, but also that "[t]he opposite has also been true in the past"; moreover, Breitbart omitted Gore's ensuing comments, which reflect the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming, that “what's happening now is that we because of human action are overwhelming all of those cycles.”
Breitbart.tv headline: “Gore Admits Temperatures Cause CO2 To Increase Not Other Way Around”
From Breitbart.tv, accessed December 9:
Gore explicitly rejected the notion that “temperatures cause CO2 to increase not other way around”
Gore: “The opposite has also been true in the past. But what's happening now is that we because of human action are overwhelming all of those cycles.” On March 21, 2007, during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) stated, “I have an article from the Science magazine, which I will put into the record at the appropriate time, that explains historically a rise in CO2 concentrations did not precede a rise in temperatures but actually lagged temperature by 200 to 1,000 years -- yes, lagged. CO2 levels went up after the temperature rose. It appears that temperature appears to drive CO2, not vice versa.” During his response, Gore stated, "[T]he fact that more CO2 traps more heat in the lower part of the Earth's atmosphere is really beyond dispute. I mean, it's not -- that's not me saying that; that's what the scientists have known for 180 years. And for 100 years they've done the calculations on pretty much exactly what the magnitude of the heating effect is." After Barton then claimed that “the temperature goes up before the CO2 goes up,” Gore responded:
GORE: Sometimes that has been true in the past. The opposite has also been true in the past. But what's happening now is that we because of human action are overwhelming all of those cycles. [Joint House committee hearing, 3/21/07 (accessed via Nexis)]
Breitbart ignored larger point, central to consensus, that global warming is “overwhelming” historical cycles
Breitbart.tv video ends before Gore makes broader point. In cutting the video of Gore's testimony, Breitbart did not include Gore's comments that, regardless of past cycles, "[W]hat's happening now is that we, because of human action, are overwhelming all of those cycles."