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Former Vice President Al Gore, rejecting complaints by Republican lawmakers that he was waging an alarmist war on coal and oil use, insisted before Congressional panels today that human-caused global warming constitutes a "planetary emergency" requiring an aggressive federal response.
Mr. Gore told Congress that humans are artificially warming the world, that the risks of inaction are great, and that meaningful global action to cut emissions linked to warming will only happen if the United States takes the lead. He delivered that message to a joint meeting of two House subcommittees dealing with energy, science and technology this morning and in written testimony prepared for a hearing of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works this afternoon.
Evoking the hit movie "300," about the ancient Spartans' stand at Thermopylae, Mr. Gore called on Congress to put aside partisan differences, accept the scientific consensus on global warming as unambiguous and become "the 535," a reference to the total number of members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.