Referring to the climate change bill that was introduced in the Senate today, Glenn Beck repeatedly suggested on his Fox News show that efforts to address global warming are aimed at producing a "global government." It's the kind of fearmongering that we've come to expect from Beck, but it's worth looking more closely at a couple of his conspiracy theories.
Beck kicked off the show by posting an on-screen graphic that read: "What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of the rich countries? In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring this about?"
Beck later informed his viewers that the quote reportedly came from environmentalist Maurice Strong. Beck stated:
BECK: Now, I want to be very clear here, because we talked to the reporter that did this interview in 1990 up in Canada. And I want to be very clear: He [Strong] was fantasizing about a plot of a novel he was thinking about writing. Yeah."
Beck went on to state that Strong has never written any novels, then said:
BECK: You know what? He's been busy -- he's got this great novel idea, but he hasn't had time to do it because he's involved in collapsing the global economies into the hands of a global government. Isn't that interesting? It's almost like his book. Hmm. Maybe it's performance art."
See for yourself:
First, Beck ridiculously suggests that a hypothetical remark Strong reportedly made in 1990 shows he is "involved in collapsing the global economies into the hands of a global government." He doesn't quote Strong saying he wants to "collapse" industrialized countries; rather, Strong questions the morality of doing so if such an action were needed to save the world. But even Beck admits that the journalist who conducted the 1990 interview with Strong said Strong raised this hypothetical as the possible plot for a novel.
Now, Beck makes sure to indicate that he thinks Strong's reported quote represents not a hypothetical situation for the plot of a novel, but rather the reasoning behind a plot to establish a "global government." By coincidence, Beck's got his own novel coming out next month. Well, he says it's only a novel, but if we look at it through the same lens that he used to look at Strong's remark, a much more alarming picture comes into view. Blogger Will Bunch, a Media Matters senior fellow, reports that Beck has said the novel is "a story of America at time much like today where the people are confused and they're being lied to and they're not sure what's right-side-up and upside-down. ... And there's one part ... there's a group of people that plays a role called the Founders Keepers...This leads to a battle and a civil war, and life is upside down planet-wide." What if this isn't only the plot of Beck's novel, but also part of a plot to incite a civil war? Pretty scary, huh?
Earlier in his show, Beck stated that former Vice President Al Gore "said that the climate bill would bring about global governance":
This is another ridiculous distortion. In a speech in Oxford, England, on July 7, 2009, Gore noted that the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey bill to address climate change. He stated of the bill: "[O]ne of the ways it will drive the change is through global governance and global agreements." He was referring to standards for emissions that would be set globally in order to address global warming, not saying that some nefarious body would take over the world. But Beck's fevered rhetoric suggests the latter.
In pushing the idea that addressing climate change would produce a global government, Beck echoed a wild conspiracy theory that he and other right-wing media figures pushed last year.
It all sounds scary, but there's not much "there" there.