BC High Students Hear Former Vice President Speak

Matt Luongo '13, News Editor

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On Tuesday February 5th,  20 members of the BC High Young Democrats Club, along with Ms. Dunne and Mr. Argento of the History Department, had the special privilege of seeing former Vice President Al Gore speak at the JFK Library. The former Vice President and presidential candidate in 2000 spoke primarily about his newest book, The Future, in which he explains the current and devastating effects of global warming. Mediating the discussion was Professor of Political Science at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Graham Allison, who added to the talk with his penetrating wit and sharp insight.

Because BC High was the only school that attempted to reserve a block of free tickets for the event, the JFK Library was more than happy to oblige. The students were given fourth row seats close to the stage in an auditorium filled with at least five hundred people. The room was filled with excitement as the large audience anticipated Gore’s arrival and his subsequent discussion of climate change. As high school students, the members of the YDC were some of the youngest people in attendance and were told several times by other audience members that it was nice to see the next generation taking an interest in politics and the climate.

The first half of the talk involved Professor Allison asking Mr. Gore about certain ideas and themes from his book. The Vice President touched upon the topics of Congress, climate, current events, and global politics. He called Congress, particularly the House of Representatives, sclerotic, and he delivered an indictment upon the 2012 presidential election because the climate was not touched upon by either President Obama or Mitt Romney. Gore called Congress’ handling of the issue of climate change “pathetic,” and he said that he wished to see serious progress in the next four years as long as the Conservative right wing doesn’t block necessary legislation.

Terrifying facts were delivered to the audience involving the climate, such as the fact that each day the amount of heat that 400,000 atomic bombs creates is trapped in the atmosphere due to increased carbon emissions. Also, the world can easily sustain 2 billion people, and there are now 7 billion people, which is hastening  global warming incredibly. On a more “creepy” note according to Gore, he fears the way that humanity has been genetically engineering species to do as it pleases. He mentioned genetically engineered corn and spider-goats as examples of genetic engineering that prove how drastically society is varying nature for its own benefit.

Ultimately, Gore’s message was that although the climate is in dire straits and must be the focus of legislation if we are to have any future at all, if humanity and America begin to pass laws immediately to fight global warming it may not be too late. He exhorted the youth of America to be aware of climate change, and by doing so he provided a perfect segue for the audience to ask him questions. 

Two members of the YDC, Paul Howard and Matt Luongo, both had their questions asked of Mr. Gore by Professor Allison, and both men were very impressed that high school students asked questions touching upon current politics. Paul asked about how Gore became so involved with the climate, which he answered by saying that his mother read Silent Spring to him as a child, and this made him aware of the terror of humanity’s impact on the environment. Matt asked about how Gore believed President Obama and the administration would tackle global warming after mentioning it in his inaugural address, and the former Vice President responded that he has faith in the President and believes that he will follow through with his promise, as long as he is not blocked by Conservative dissenters.

At the conclusion of the talk, Al Gore signed copies of his book and was able to talk to members of the audience individually for short periods of time. The Young Democrats were delighted at the chance to hear such an intelligent person discuss a matter of utmost importance in this day and age.

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BC High Students Hear Former Vice President Speak