Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Can We???

Although yesterday's WaPo carried a piece announcing the launch of Al Gore and the Alliance for Climate Protection's campaign called "We Can Solve It," or simply WE for short, I first read about it in a good story in USA Today a week ago. And, of course, Gore's interview with Lesley Stahl on this past Sunday's Sixty Minutes was the real opener. I can't get the entire video of the interview to embed correctly here, so I refer you to the CBS page where you can not only watch the video but read the text version of what both parties said.

So, the guy many of us would really love to see as our November Democratic candidate is taking the issue of publicizing the urgency of the global climate crisis even farther than he has already. Using his own money as well as the money from his Nobel prize, documentary film, and donations, he is planning to use the power of marketing to bring the urgency and solvability of this cause right into our living rooms and faces. Though all three viable candidates have energy and climate policies, and Congress will be debating the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act (S. 2191), in June, none of these plans are radical/ far-reaching, and immediate enough to create the vast changes needed in order to avert the worst-case scenaria so quickly approaching. What Gore's new campaign aims to do is make the majority of Americans aware that the issue is both urgent and (supposedly) solvable, thus putting the force of public opinion into play.

This piece, We Can Solve It, in today's Progress Report shows what the We campaign will be up against. The 300 mill that Gore's project is spending over the next three years will be dwarfed by the $700 billion market in annual corporate advertising and public relations spending. The companies in the polluting sectors, such as energy, transportation, agribusiness, chemical, and manufacturing, recognize the economic stakes of fighting climate legislation. Their efforts involve public campaigns that "greenwash" their environmental record, arguing that global warming is not their fault. The article gives examples of planned greenwashing campaigns by the "clean coal," mining, natural gas, big oil, nuclear and auto industries that we can expect to see competing with Gore's message in coming times. Perhaps Mother Nature herself will offer a few more stunning examples like this one last week, or this one currently in process, of the devastating effects of global climate change to tailwhip us into effective action.

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posted at 2:28:00 PM by marigolds2

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