Gore bets $300 million on climate pitch
Former vice president calls for U.S. to reduce greenhouse emissions
MSNBC staff and news service reports
updated 8:07 p.m. ET, Mon., March. 31, 2008
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nobel prize winner and former Vice President Al Gore launched a three-year, $300 million advocacy campaign calling for the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The "We" campaign by Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection will combine advertising and online organizing with grassroots groups. It is aimed at educating the public about global warming and urging solutions from elected officials.
"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 told The Washington Post.
Gore said the campaign will be funded, in part, from all his profits from the Oscar-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" and its companion book, his salary from the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, and his $750,000 share of 2007 Nobel Peace Prize cash award.
"The options available to civilization worldwide to avert this terribly destructive pattern are beginning to slip away from us," Gore said. "The path for recovery runs right through Washington."
The Alliance for Climate Protection was founded in 2006 by Gore, who currently serves as the chairman of its bipartisan board of directors.
In a fact sheet describing the campaign, the Alliance said its goal is to enlist "10 million citizens to become climate activists" by using "a robust paid media campaign, cutting‐edge online activation and partnerships with mainstream civic and religious organizations."
The advertising campaign will equate the climate-change movement with other grand historic endeavors, like stopping fascism in Europe during World War II, overcoming segregation in the United States and putting the first man on the moon.
Pat Robertson, Gingrich on board
Some advertisements will feature bipartisan pairs, such as the Rev. Al Sharpton with Pat Robertson and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with former Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Robertson spoke Monday on "The 700 Club," his long-running Christian news and talk show, about his involvement, saying he was honored to be asked by Gore to participate.
"It's just common sense that we ought to be good stewards of the environment and do everything within our power to protect this fragile planet that we all live on," he said.
Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler said the former congressman is participating because he agrees on the need for a bipartisan approach to climate change. In Gingrich's new book, "A Contract with the Earth," he argues that conservatives are natural environmentalists.
Prominent Republicans also serve on the alliance’s board of directors.
“This is not only an environmental issue. It’s an issue of energy independence and it’s an issue of national security,” said Lee Thomas, head of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Ronald Reagan. “We need to all come together on this and the time to move on it is now, not later.”
And the campaign is working through partnerships with groups like the Girl Scouts. The group’s 2.7 million members will take a climate action pledge and the Alliance will provide them with kits offering suggestions for projects they can do in their neighborhoods.
The campaign's Web site is www.wecansolveit.org
The Associated Press contributed to this report.