GoreFanatics have a habit of undermining their own cause: just look at animal liberationists, and how their gruesome antics diverted attention from worthwhile campaigns aimed at factory farming. A lunatic fringe now threatens to sabotage the global warming debate in the same way.

In the US, the think-tank that accused Al Gore of hypocrisy over his personal electricity consumption has been inundated with abusive emails and death threats – to the quiet satisfaction of conservatives who like to portray all green campaigners as extremists.

But the same sort of low-level intimidation is also present in Britain, where protesters have sent hate mail to newspaper travel editors and chained the doors of travel agents. Such tactics will only alienate the public and set back the cause.

The campaign to curb climate change is a hard enough sell already, since it requires people to make major changes to their lifestyle in return for vague, intangible benefits.

I’m all for environmental activism but the last thing we need is eco-extremists trumping Gore’s inconvenient truth with a convenient excuse for doing nothing.

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My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis, it’s not a political issue, it’s a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act, that’s a renewable resource, let’s renew it. Academy Award acceptance speech, February 27, 2007.

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