Al Gore stands in front of a poster for An Inconvenient Truth.
Al Gore stands in front of a poster for An Inconvenient Truth. - 
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MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Former Vice President Al Gore will testify on global warming before two Congressional panels today. His Academy Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" has given Gore both popularity and credibility. But will his appearance make any difference in the climate change debate in Washington? Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk.

SARAH GARDNER: Al Gore's had a rough couple of weeks.

After winning an Oscar just last month, the former vice president has been fending off charges that his Tennessee mansion consumes too much energy and that his movie exaggerated the global warming science. His hometown paper then bashed him for profiting from zinc mining.

But Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists says despite the recent backlash, Gore has the power to influence lawmakers' opinions.

ALDEN MEYER: He has been tracking this issue longer than any politician I'm aware of. He's studied it very seriously. I think he's got tremendous credibility as a policy maker.

Republicans will try to counter Gore's testimony at the House hearing with another witness.

Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg is author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist." Lomborg says climate change is a serious problem, but "the cacophony of screaming doesn't help."

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

Follow Sarah Gardner at @RadioGardner