Gore to Children: Question Your Parents' Climate Beliefs as We Questioned Segregation

Imagine this – a former high-ranking and well-respected government official telling your children that they know something you don’t. Is this Cold War-era Soviet Union? Nope. It’s Maryland, and the official is former Vice President Al Gore.

In audio aired on the Feb. 4 “Glenn Beck Radio Program,” Gore was advising school children on the eve of the inauguration of President Barack Obama, presumably at the University of Maryland Presidential Youth Inaugural Conference. He said that it’s up to them to question their parents on conventional wisdom in order to overcome the challenges of modern America, one of them being global warming.

“But I’m thinking back a long way to when I was your age and the civil rights revolution was unfolding,” Gore said. “And we kids asked our parents and their generation, ‘Explain to me again why it’s OK for the law to officially discriminate against people because of their skin color?’ And parent’s try to tell their kids the right thing, you know? Usually, I do. And when our parent’s generation couldn’t answer that question, that’s when the law started to change.”

Gore’s solution to overcoming this – children, like the ones he was addressing on Jan. 19, should question their parents because according to him, this is an era of rapid change and children are the ones who will make it possible for society to adapt.

“There are some things about our world that you know that older people don’t know,” Gore continued. “Why would that be? Well, in a period of rapid change, the old assumptions sometimes just don’t work anymore because they’re out of date. New knowledge, new understandings are much more widely available, sometimes to young people who are in school who aren’t weighed down with the old flawed assumptions of the past.”

Gore also pointed to Galileo’s discovery of the earth revolving around the sun, as opposed to vice versa, as one of these new ideas that was accepted by younger people challenging conventional wisdom. According to the former vice president, these new ideas and ways of thinking would be instrumental in tackling three biggest threats he said that were facing our country – the economic crisis, the national security crisis and his pet issue – the climate crisis.

“The third crisis is one I talk about a lot – the climate crisis, global warming,” Gore continued. “What’s that all about? Most of you know what it’s all about, so I’m not going to dwell on it. But basically, because we’ve been relying so heavily on oil and coal, we’ve been burning larger and larger amounts of it in ways that pollute the atmosphere – not just of a city, not just of a region, but the entire world. And carbon dioxide, CO2, the principle global warming pollution, is different from the kind of pollution we’re used to thinking about.”

Gore reiterated that the old ideas of another generation must give way to those of a younger generation, and the issue of global warming was no exception.

“Today, Jan. 19, 2009 – we will put 70 million tons of this global warming pollution into the atmosphere,” he continued. “A lot of people think it’s OK. They go outside, they look up at the sky. The sky seems like a huge place. How could we possibly have any impact on it? Just like they used to go out on the ground and look at the sun rise in the East and set in the West and conclude that the sun went around the earth – they were wrong then, and anybody who thinks it is OK to put all this pollution up there is wrong today. We have to change it.”

“The entire North Polar Ice Cap is melting,” Gore continued. “The sea level is rising, the storms are getting stronger. You know the story. It has to be dealt with and you have to help us deal with it because you – you’re not encumbered with these old assumptions that it’s OK to put all the pollution up there.

Beck had his own reaction to the Goreacle’s philosophies, and explained them on his radio broadcast to his audience.

“’There are some things that you know that older people don’t know?’” Beck said. “That is – and I’m just getting started. That is one of the most incredible things I have ever heard. ‘There are some things that you know that older people don’t know.’ He is pitting the youth of this nation against their parents. We have a former vice president of the United States, a man who claims to have been President of the United States saying to the best and the brightest 12-year-olds that, ‘You know better than your parents,’ that ‘you don’t have to listen to your parents on things because they just don’t know.’”

Beck made his own analogies to past regimes and how they used youth to mold what was considered the mindset on issues of the day.

“I’m trying to think where else this has been done – Soviet Russia, Nazi, Germany, Mussolini’s Italy,” Beck said. “In fact, the Nazis took an extra step. Not only did they indoctrinate the kids and tell them you’re probably right, you know but your parents don’t; in fact, here’s the next step: Why don't you tell us what your parents are telling you. Are we having the new Hitler youth? Is that what this is? The new Hitler youth? I’m sorry, that’s so politically incorrect – the new green guard. Man your station, 12-year-olds, your parents just don’t know.”

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