Belgian Ministers Quarrel over Al Gore
From the desk of Luc Van Braekel on Fri, 2007-03-16 17:29
Last week, a big row broke out in the federal government of Belgium. The reason? Al Gore and his campaign on climate change. But it was not about measures to limit CO2 emissions that the government ministers were quarreling. No, they were fighting about this picture which appeared in the Belgian press:
Some ministers were angry that Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt (right) and Vice Prime Minister Didier Reynders (left) were on the picture, but they not. Why hadn’t they been invited? They also wanted to be on the picture with Al Gore! Especially Laurette Onkelinx and Freya Van den Bossche, two Socialist Vice Prime Ministers, were angry that the Liberal Vice Prime Minister Reynders was present, and they not. According to the Brussels newspaper Le Soir, the discussion about the Al Gore photo lasted for three hours during a restricted meeting of top ministers, known as the “core cabinet”. In the end, Prime Minister Verhofstadt reprimanded Vice Prime Minister Reynders because he had shown up for the meeting with Gore without being formally invited.
The row confirms a few things about the status of climate change and Al Gore: in Belgium, Al Gore is looked upon as a hero, a superman, the only man in the world who can save the planet. And the discussion about climate change in the media and among politicians is not about the scientific data and conclusions, but only about the question whether we are doing enough to fight climate change and whether we are making enough new laws to save our planet.