CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Vice President Al Gore implored a local crowd to get involved in efforts to address climate change in a speech at the University of Chicago on Monday.

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WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports Gore blamed money from major industrial investors for keeping Republican candidates from acknowledging climate change, which the former vice president said is recognized by 99.99 percent of climate scientists.

Gore said previous GOP presidential candidates have acknowledged the effects of climate change, and proposed solutions, but he said that won’t happen now, because of what he calls “an enforced orthodoxy” in the Republican Party.

“They will face primary opponents financed by the Koch brothers – and others who are part of their group – if they even breathe the slightest breath of sympathy for the truth,” he said.

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The Koch brothers run an oil and gas conglomerate, and have donated millions to conservative candidates.

Gore said many Republican candidates refuse to admit the causes and effects of climate change, because of fear of losing campaign contributions from corporations he said are using the earth as “an open sewer.”

The former vice president asked a group of about 200 people to get involved in the revolution of alternative energy that he says is coming.

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Gore spoke Monday night at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, run by former Obama adviser and Democratic political strategist David Axelrod. The Institute has hosted a series of speeches from members of both parties the past several weeks, including Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, former Congressman Ray LaHood, and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell.