Al Gore, elevated to almost prophetic status for his
campaign against global warming, has unveiled a new
$300m advertising blitz intended to force a debate on
climate change during the presidential elections.
The Nobel laureate, who appeared on the CBS programme
60 Minutes to roll-out the effort, is to donate
a share of his personal fortune to the campaign.
Gore told 60 Minutes that he would donate his Nobel prize money
- as well as a matching sum in addition to their profits from
the book and the movie of An Inconvenient Truth. The
movie brought the issue of global warming home to millions
of Americans, as well as winning Gore an Oscar.
In this latest campaign, Gore said he hopes to persuade Americans
that protecting the planet transcends the usual political
divisions. "We all share the exact same interest in doing
the right thing on this" - he told CBS. "Are we destined to
destroy this place that we call home - planet earth? I can't
believe that that's our destiny. It is not our destiny. But
we have to awaken to the moral duty that we have to do the
right thing and get out of this silly political game-playing
about it. This is about survival."
The first television advertisements, which are to begin airing
on broadcast networks as well as cable - starting this week
- will pair up the most unlikely partners in the movement
to address global warming.
A clip, aired on CBS, showed the Reverend Al Sharpton sharing
a sofa with the conservative preacher Pat Robertson. The two
men acknowledge they agree on almost nothing - barring the
need to deal with global warming.
Other spots will feature the Democratic Speaker of the House
of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, alongside New Gingrich,
the conservative Republican who once held the same post.
The support from such conservative figures as Gingrich and
Robertson marks a victory for Gore in his efforts to make
global warming a cause for all Americans - evangelical Christians
and fiscal conservatives as well as those on the left.
The recognition for his work in the Nobel prize and the Oscar
had helped overcome scepticism about whether climate change
At this stage, Gore argued, the doubters - which include
the vice-president, Dick Cheney - had been isolated as a fringe
group. "I think that those people are in such a tiny, tiny
minority now with their point of view" - he told CBS. "They're
almost like the ones who still believe that the moon landing
was staged in a movie lot in Arizona and those who believe
the earth is flat. That demeans them a little bit - but it's
not that far off."
The advertising campaign is being created by an advertising
agency whose work is familiar to American television viewers.
The same agency produced advertisements for Geico car insurance,
using talking lizards and spoof of Planet of the Apes.
Gore acknowledged that, so far, Clinton and Obama have devoted
relatively little time to discussing their platforms on climate
change. But, as he told CBS - "I'm not finished yet."