Al Gore passes on the inconvenient truth
Wed, 15 Jul 2009 12:00a.m.
By the time former US vice president Al Gore made the film An Inconvenient Truth, he had already given his climate change slideshow 2000 times.
Earlier this week he gave it again, but this time it wasn't so much to educate the audience but to train them, so that they would learn to present it too.
The trainee presenters came from across Asia-Pacific, and amongst them were 15 New Zealanders, including a farmer and an accountant.
How would these average Kiwis become climate change experts?
"It was kind of a spur of the moment thing really to stick my name forward," says farmer David Musgrave, "so I'm not entirely sure what I'm in for."
Ashburton accountant Leanne Blakelock says the slideshow "is literally my new bible".
Phil Tate, strategy manager for New Zealand Post, says: "I think at the end of the day, this is the biggest issue, this is the biggest issue facing our generation right now."
These are not scientists - they're not even environmentalists - but they were about to get a wake-up call from the most famous face in climate change – Gore.
When he wasn't elected to the White House in 2000, Gore took his campaign to the world instead, and wanting to multiply his message he began training others to deliver it.
Two-thousand lined up from around the Asia-Pacific, 15 Kiwis among the chosen few.
"I think I was chosen because more for the fact that they're not preaching to the converted with me," says Ms Blakecock. "I'm an average everyday person, and I have a lot of networks that I can talk to and get the word across."
They arrived in Melbourne and walked straight into a perfect storm of climate science study.
"I think its going to be three really intense days," says Rachel Brown, chief executive of the Sustainable Business Network.
A day and a half in, and Mr Musgrave is, "getting pretty exhausted. Had Al Gore for the last two hours, and that was fascinating because the science is absolutely unassailable, so if it's a rational decision we had to make, it would be easy - but its an emotional decision."
The timing of this training is critical in light of the UN climate change conference.
It will be a mammoth challenge to get world leaders to agree on a post-Kyoto framework in Copenhagen. Gore is optimistic that with growing public awareness, it can be done.
"The climate crisis has been picking up momentum, building towards a political tipping point," he says. "We're not there yet but we are closer than we have ever been."
After three days of training, Mr Musgrave says he knows what's needed.
"As a Western nation that helped cause this problem, New Zealand has to step up and show the leadership as we have in the past, and pitch for a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions."
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27/11/2012 10:59:54 a.m.
The most sick thing about the climate change issues we are facing as a species has been hijacked by our species desire to find a monetary angle for everything. Carbon Credits - what utter tosh, as one correspondent has already said how can you actually trade pollution you buy credits from someone else and suddenly you're not a polluter? Give me strength. What happens when there's a trade deficit across the planet on that? I know lets create carbon Debt and put a cost on that.....oh wait didn't we already do that with money?
11/11/2012 11:15:18 a.m.
Id be more inclined to belive the GW scientists IF the govts of the world didnt bring about the "carbon tax". which is really a money making scheme isnt it. It doesnt really stop more pollutants. Forget about the so called science and open your eyes. This is the biggest con job/ mind job in history so a few can get wealthy beyond belief or a nice constant slush fund.Al Gore is doing just nicely out of this. Hes going to make billions from his investments so long as the world believes his hype. Do your research on him.Not on what hes saying, but what hes not telling you.
9/11/2012 9:41:39 a.m.
The planets going through a unusually warm period anyway, whats all the drama about. Did the industrial age cause the medieval warming period, or the mini ice age, the Thames frooze over. No, that was cause by volcanic eurptions in IceLand. Whats a inconvienant truth is that taxes on business wont change anything. Its a tail end nonsence, everybody are suckers. If they want a tax on anything put it on recycling glass and plastic containers, and add it as a hand in refund.
25/10/2012 10:47:06 a.m.
I pollute. I buy carbon credits. Now I'm carbon neutral. I still pollute though. That's OK is it? Some tossers pay an additional carbon tax on their air fares. The plane still dumps the same amount of pollution. What a load of nonsense. Let's just strive to reduce pollution for our own environment's sake. Not make some fraudsters like Al Gore rich.
24/10/2012 8:42:36 p.m.
17/09/2012 3:20:28 p.m.
andrew from south dakota wrote:
Sorry friends down south but the best part about Al Gore presenting his (poppycock drama GW emotionally charged disguised scheme to spread the wealth) is that you have him there and that means he is not here, good luck !!!!
12/07/2012 6:50:59 p.m.
Dez Crawley wrote:
Al Gore made statements on global warming such as seas rising,ice melting and other horror predictions, exactly the same as the one that was detailed in an American newspaper in 1922.He was aided and abetted by other expert climotologist such as Merryl Streep, and Bruce Springsteen. One must wonder did he have anything to do with The Millinium Scare,hole in the ozone layer and C02 emmissions. Hello!
23/09/2009 12:57:36 p.m.
Solar Mike wrote:
>> The most prevalent greenhouse gas is water vapour and not dreaded 'C02'.
WRONG: Water vapor is self regulating, ie it rains and thus self regulates and is a constant that can be ignored.
CO2 on the other hand has a 200 or so year cycle thus tends to build up and helps reinforce the green house effect.
No one is saying global warming is directly caused by CO2, CO2 however reinforces the feedback mechanisms that are a consequence of global warming.
Gee there are some thick people out there...
2/09/2009 7:05:06 p.m.
The latest paper on the 11 year climate cycle shows that the Sun, clouds, water, heat, drives our climate, who would have guessed that!
27/07/2009 5:50:29 p.m.
Dear AlbertThank you for your humble response and your apology is very much accepted. I fully understand the fervency with which you pursue this topic as it is very frightening when rationality and logic go out the window in favour of wild speculation over our precious climate. I believe one possible way to win people over to the side of sanity would be to ask them if they have seen David Bellamy of late. As I'm sure you know, he lost his position at the BBC for coming the rational, logical and scientifically-backed conclusion that GW was in his words "poppycock". So much for impartiality in the media, but it just goes to show how much money has been put out on the table on the assumption that the science is supposedly 'settled' as most uninformed GW advocates like to say.I wish you all the best in efforts to win people over to the side of logic and rationality and I will be doing the same over here in Japan where I currently reside.Best RegardsPhil
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