- - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Have you ever noticed how Al Gore has a near-annual tradition of making outlandish comments to the press? It’s almost like clockwork, and rather frightening at that.

The former Tennessee senator and Democratic presidential candidate’s history of holding ridiculous (and, at times, irresponsible) points of view is legendary.

Consider Mr. Gore’s one-sided views on global warming and his farcical 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Or his belligerent attacks on former President George W. Bush over Iraq and Hurricane Katrina. Or starting up Current TV as another liberal voice in the U.S. marketplace only to sell it to an international company, Al Jazeera. Or his decision to go vegan last year, based in part (I’d assume) on a 2009 ABC News interview, “the growing meat intensity of diets across the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis — not only because of the [carbon dioxide] involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process.”

It would also be hard to forget Mr. Gore’s preposterous comment to Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s “Late Edition” in 1999: “During my service in the U.S. Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

Yet after all that we’ve heard, Mr. Gore made have just made his most ridiculous comment to date. The former veep recently participated in a panel discussion, “Changing the Climate for Growth and Development,” at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. According to Michael Bastasch of The Daily Caller, he reportedly said, “Depressing the rate of child mortality, educating girls, empowering women and making fertility management ubiquitously available — so women can choose how many children and the spacing of children — is crucial to the future shape of human civilization.”

That’s right. According to the wit and wisdom of Al Gore, fertility management is the most effective way to fight global warming.

We shouldn’t be completely surprised by his defense of population control. This has long been part of his left-wing environmentalist agenda. As Myron Ebell, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s director of global warming and international environmental policy, told Mr. Bastasch, “Gore’s eco-imperialism is uncomfortably close to the original racist goals of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, who advocated population control in order to control the number of black and brown people in the world.”

Here’s where his position has changed. Whereas Mr. Gore’s previous defenses of fertility management were somewhat more constrained in the past, this is the most vocal he’s ever been about this particular issue. Meanwhile, making that statement in front of important political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum means it’s likely going to become a major plank in his personal crusade for a greener planet.

It shouldn’t be, however.

Fertility levels have absolutely nothing to with environmental concerns. Similar to China’s one-child policy, Mr. Gore’s proposal is nothing more than a state-controlled program of forced abortion to unnaturally keep the population down in certain countries.

From a position of personal liberty, population control has always been a revolting concept. Whether you support or prefer larger or smaller families (the trend has favored smaller in North America in recent years), allowing the state to restrict an individual’s freedom to make that choice is irresponsible. Moreover, in a world where some couples can’t have children and desperately wish to adopt, a policy of forced abortion is immoral.

What population control activists like Mr. Gore often do is juxtapose this manufactured concept with the environment. In other words, fertility management would supposedly help protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and use, and the food supply we regularly consume.

Sorry, but it does nothing of the sort. Natural resources will still be used and consumed in high demand, irrespective of overall population size. The U.S. Census Bureau’s population clock (which is continuously updated) estimates that the world’s population is around 7.149 billion. Fertility management wouldn’t even cause a small dent in it.

To obtain the type of “change” Mr. Gore and others clearly desire, you would need something equivalent to a bubonic plague to wipe out areas of overpopulated countries like China and India. No sane person would surely ever support such a disgusting idea, regardless of personal feelings or political leanings.

Not that it matters to Mr. Gore, mind you. He’ll just continue to defend his positions, and show nothing more than contempt for others. With all the words regularly coming out of his mouth, I think we should be very pleased that he never became president.

Michael Taube is a contributor to The Washington Times.

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