In a rare interview appearance on CBS News' 60 Minutes, Al Gore took the wraps off a colossal new $300m ad campaign intended to (forcefully) inject the topic of climate change into the presidential contest. As we and many other commentators have noted in the past few months, a substantive dialogue on climate change has been strangely missing from the current discussions, with most top reporters and pundits failing to raise the topic all together - preferring instead to expound on the importance of $600 haircuts and UFO sightings.
The climate guru's ads will hopefully help blunt Big Coal's recent ad buys, centering around the supposedly reassuring concept of "clean coal" being trumpeted by the classily-named Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC), and push back against many of the skeptics out there who continue pressing their contrarian (and wholly unfounded) views. To fund this Alliance for Climate Protection initiative, Gore will be donating all the profits from the An Inconvenient Truth book and movie; in addition, he will be donating his Nobel prize money and a matching sum from his personal fortune.Featuring such unlikely bedfellows as Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton, the ads will seek to poke a hole in the partisan mythos surrounding global warming, showing that both conservatives and liberals can rally around this cause. As Gore put it in his CBS interview: "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 ads are set to begin airing on all the major broadcast networks this week. Let's hope they (finally) prove conducive to a meaningful debate on climate change in the campaign.
Via ::Guardian Unlimited: Gore unveils $300m climate ads (news website), ::CBS News: Al Gore's New Campaign (news website)