Gore launches $300 million campaign
Former Vice President Al Gore is launching a $300 million, bipartisan campaign to try to push climate change higher on the nation’s political agenda.
The three-year campaign by the Alliance for Climate Protection will begin Wednesday with network television advertising that will include “American Idol” and other non-traditional shows that reach a non-news audience.
The debut ad, "Anthem," is posted here.
Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton just filmed an ad for the We Campaign, sitting on a couch on the beach. In the ad, now being produced, they say that while they may not agree on many things, they do agree that they have to work to save the planet.
A future couple in the “strange bedfellows” or "unlikely alliances” spots will be recorded soon: Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
The campaign aims to harness the growing awareness of the climate crisis and turn it into one of the top issues on which voters make decisions.
The campaign is being paid for in part with profits from Gore’s global-warming book and movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” and with the prize money from his share of the Nobel Peace Prize, which he matched.
The alliance is also raising money online through a new website, WeCanSolveIt.org.
The ads are being made and placed by the Martin Agency of Richmond, famous for the caveman and gecko ads for Geico car insurance.
“The whole idea of the campaign is to be inclusive and to be bipartisan and to bring people together to a place where meaningful change can happen,” an organizer said. “It aims to be a game-changer in terms of the politics of climate.”
The alliance already has more than a million e-mail addresses, and the goal is to sign up more than 10 million global warming activists.
"For the new Congress and the new president to get something meaningful done, it will take the American people demanding change," the organizer said.
In addition to the ads on television, in print and online, the campaign will include a huge grass-roots mobilization effort.
“It’s going to be much more of a referential, network-focused campaign as opposed to high-profile people telling you what to do,” the organizer said. “Hopefully, it’s going to be your friends and neighbors encouraging you to get involved.”
Gore has trained nearly 2,000 “climate presenters” who have learned to give his presentation in their own communities. Some have been trained in India, and Gore hopes to do a training session in China.
“These people are going to be the public face of this,” the organizer said. “The vice president has been a part of the creation, but it’s not going to be a campaign that’s heavily focused on him. It will be all sorts of messengers — Democrats and Republicans, high-profile and low-profile.”
Gore introduced the campaign Sunday in an interview with Lesley Stahl of CBS’s “60 Minutes,” who called the launch a “blitz as sweeping and expensive as a big corporation's rollout of a new product.” Gore talked about his effort to redefine climate change as a moral and spiritual issue.
“It's much more expensive not to solve it," Gore said. “We don't have any choice. We just don't have any choice. I wish I knew a better way to do it. I constantly ask myself, 'How can I be more effective in getting this message across?' It's so clear. It's so compelling. And yet it takes time to get the facts out.”