Gore is letting his frame of reference show. Gore's worldview, along with all environmentalistss, and almost all leftists, is framed by Parson Thomas Malthus. In 1798 he postulated that:
That the increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence,
That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, and,
That the superior power of population is repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by misery and vice.
This worldview is not true, and has been falsified scientifically. Nevertheless, it keeps a hold on the left. The boomers, including Gore, were entranced by Paul Erlich's Population Bomb, which stated:
The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate...
Wrong, wrong, wrong. What happened is that capitalism spread all over the world, and the world has been transformed by the greatest explosion of wealth the world has ever seen. But Al Gore and the left completely ignore it.
The result of this blindness is that the left has been completely blindsided by the increase in human wealth that has taken place over the last 30 years since communism fell.
Shanghai 1987 vs. 2013
If you want to understand how idiotic America is, and how the left's blindness is hurting us, look at what China is doing in Africa. They are Africa's largest trading partner. They are building ports, railroads, and infrastructure. Africa is going to grow almost as much as Asia did, and will be middle class in 20 years. This is why Bill Gates, who does charity work in Africa, can state that the world will eliminate poverty by 2030. It isn't the birth control that will do it, it is capitalism, and ignoring Al Gore.
Africa will not be middle class in 20 years or 100 years but China will colonize large parts of sub- Saharan Africa and extract and use its resources. It is too hot there to think coherently enough to make a civilization with a middle class like in Europe or Korea (for example)