Al Gore is mad as hell about his campaign to get the word out about global warming being smothered by a heavily funded doubt campaign and a disinterested media, and he’s not going to take it anymore.
But unlike Howard Beale in the 1976 film “Network,” he hasn’t simply gone to the nearest window to shout it out at the top of his lungs. Instead, he decided that the lies have to stop, the truth has to come out, and he formed an organization called the Climate Reality Project to make it happen, and today: September 14th 2011 is the day, through an event called 24 Hours of Reality.
What can change in a day? Gore answers that question in a brief video that plays on the Climate Reality website. “A street can become a river, a mountain can become a mudslide, a forest can become kindling…” all told over images of floods, fires and devastation. “Cataclysmic events,” we are told, “are becoming the new normal,” and the truth has become one of its causalities. Big oil and coal are spending fortunes to spread doubt beneath the radar, but, according to Al, “Not anymore. On Sept. 14Th, the world will join hands to create 24 hours of reality, an event that will focus the world’s attention on the Full Truth, Scope, Scale, and Impact of the Climate Crisis.”
“Climate deniers,” says Al, “may have money, connections and influence, but together, we have something they don’t: Reality.”
The PR leading up to this event has been impressive. There is a video trailer produced by Alex Bogusky that shows a fat lady singing with smoke coming out of her Viking helmet. Above it is suspended a globe which explodes when sufficiently heated by the smoke, or is it the high note she is singing? In either case, you get the message. Moments later these words fill the screen, “The denial ends on September 14th. Another hilarious, but serious video by the same team is called, The Denial Hits the Fan, which looks like, well–you know.
The web site claims 5 million members world wide.
But what exactly is going to happen on September 14th?
There will be 24 Presenters, in 24 Time Zones, speaking 13 Languages, with one message. A new multimedia presentation created by Al Gore will be shown once per hour introduced by presenters all over the world. It starts at 8PM Eastern time. According to the website, “each hour people living with the reality of climate change will connect the dots between recent extreme weather events — including floods, droughts and storms — and the manmade pollution that is changing our climate. We will offer a round-the-clock, round-the-globe snapshot of the climate crisis in real time.”
- Roberto Vamos, Brazil, a sustainability consultant at Brasil S
- Dong Sik Lee, South Korea, a former Chief Investment Officer for Samsung Asset Management, now an environmentalist
- Larry Schweiger, US, President of the National Wildlife Federation
- Karel Mayrand, Canada, General Director of the David Suzuki Foundation
- Vanessa Morris, Australia, Department of Resources Energy and Tourism
- Maxine Burkett, US, Director of the Center for Island Climate Adaptation and Policy for the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program
- Carl Duivenvorden, Greenland, writer and environmental consultant
- Asif Iqbal, Pakistan, Community organizer
- Merewalesi Nailatikau, Fiji, Goodwill Ambassador for Children at UNICEF
- Ibrahim Al-Zu’bi, United Arab Emirates, Environmental and civil engineer
- Gerardo Pandal, Mexico, Renewable energy and efficiency consultant
- Charles Wiriawan, Indonesia, Program Manager for environmental foundation
- Nitin Raikar, India, Wind turbine manufacturer
Personally, I am looking forward to seeing some of these. I hope that you will take the time to check them out too.
Will the denial end today? That seems like a lot to ask, but hopefully it will for some folks. The Inconvenient Truth certainly had a big impact. Perhaps this will serve as a booster shot.
RP Siegel is the co-author of the eco-thriller Vapor Trails, the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water. Like airplanes, we all leave behind a vapor trail. And though we can easily see others’, we rarely see our own.
Follow RP Siegel on Twitter.