Milken Conference: Al Gore Rocks Crowd With Global Warming Speech


The former vice president said our grandchildren would be justified in asking us, "What in the hell were you thinking? "

Al Gore, one of Hollywood's favorite sons because of his commitment to the environment, rocked a large crowd in Beverly Hills on Tuesday with an impassioned plea to solve the "climate change crisis," part of which is getting media right.

Gore lamented that a modern-day Thomas Paine would not be able to get his "Common Sense" message to the masses today because he couldn't afford TV airtime, and he criticized the "rise of television at the expense of the printing press."

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But he was most animated, his voice pitching higher and lower and the volume steadily increasing, when he spoke of global warming.

"This is for real. It is not made up. The scientists are not in a conspiracy to lie to us," Gore nearly shouted.

"The generation of people alive today will be held accountable," he said. "Our children and grandchildren ... if they exist in a world that has been devastated by these consequences that have been predicted and are beginning to unfold -- they would be well justified in asking of us: 'What in the hell were you thinking? And what in the hell were you doing? And why were you so willfully blind of what was happening on your watch?'"

Gore was speaking at the Milken Institute Global Conference, the same venue where he presented a global-warming slideshow several years ago that led to the film An Inconvenient Truth. Gore said the 2006 movie directed by Davis Guggenheim would not have existed had it not been for a Milken presentation on the subject.

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The former vice president also took some non-partisan shots at lobbyists and some partisan shots at the Iraq War, Republicans, and in particular the Tea Party, which he said, "has a lot of astro-turf in it," adding that he thinks "a lot of good people" have been lead astray by the movement.

He may have accidentally found some common ground with the Tea Party, though, when he spoke of an inept government that shouldn't be relied on to solve all problems.

"Since the United States government is so neurotic and dysfunctional and pathetic and paralyzed, we the people have to lift it back up and make it work again," he said.