13 April 2008

Gore to spend $300 million on global warming ads

mongabay.com - March 31, 2008

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This week Al Gore will launch a three-year, $300 million campaign to mobilize support for reining in greenhouse gas emissions, reports The Washington Post.

"The simple algorithm is this: It's important to change the light bulbs, but it's much more important to change the laws," Gore told The Washington Post. "The options available to civilization worldwide to avert this terribly destructive pattern are beginning to slip away from us. The path for recovery runs right through Washington, D.C."

"This climate crisis is so interwoven with habits and patterns that are so entrenched, the elected officials in both parties are going to be timid about enacting the bold changes that are needed until there is a change in the public's sense of urgency in addressing this crisis," Gore said. "I've tried everything else I know to try. The way to solve this crisis is to change the way the public thinks about it."

The money will come from private contributors and the proceeds from Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth," his accompanying book on climate as well as a planned book on climate change, his salary from the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, and several international prizes — including the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize — which add up to more than $2.7 million. The Washington Post calls the effort "one of the most ambitious and costly public advocacy campaigns in U.S. history," rivaling spending by The Ad Council and the anti-smoking campaign by the American Legacy Foundation which began in the late 1990s.

Gore's campaign will go up against the energy lobby. According to The Washington Post, Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, a nonprofit funded by the coal industry, is spending about $35 million this election to push coal-generated electricity.

Gore backs a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. The current presidential candidates have all called for cuts, ranging from 60 percent for John McCain to 80 percent Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the 2050 time-frame.

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