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Posts Tagged ‘Alliance for Climate Protection’

From Media Curves, interesting new research on level of agreement with “we” campaign ad, amongst different age groups:

I have voiced this before, I am not a great fan of this particular ad. The research seems to validate my feelings. It also confirms something else we knew from previous research, that the younger generation is most likely to respond to calls to climate action.

Mark, you are right, the AGW brigade is very active, as evidenced once more by the types and quantity of comments left on the YouTube site for this particular video. I did try to restore a bit of balance by leaving a comment, but that’s only one voice!

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London Mayor candidates bypass mainstream media to answer questions on crowdsourcing website. This headline in the British ‘Journalism‘ magazine, caught my eye. Still fresh from our recent discussions on Al Gore‘s “we” campaign, and going back to some earlier laments about the failure of the media to appropriately cover climate change solutions, I have become more and more interested in the concept of crowdsourcing.

We the people have more power than we think, and there is this wonderful thing called Web 2.0 that can help us be heard. Take a look at the yoosk website – the one used in the London mayoral election – and you will see what I mean:

Next comes the question of, how can we concretely make use of a site like yoosk to foster a productive discussion between citizens and the powers in charge, to explore and trigger concrete solutions to the climate change problem? Personally, I would like to suggest to the “we” team that they consider the yoosk crowdsourcing concept as a way to fortify their campaign. Of course, they would have to read this blog, . . .

Another suggestion would be for some of the readers of this blog, many of them also readers of DotEarth, and who have expressed their frustrations regarding the current state of the media, to take the lead and start a climate change crowdsourcing initiative.

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The “we” campaign does not show much creativity, is not doing enough, and should involve the people more. These are three of the criticisms brought up in a World Changing article, titled, Can We Solve It Like This? Why the We Campaign Needs Change. Earlier, I have shared my excitement, and also reservations about the campaign. Here is one more thought . . .

we” could have more of a Web 2.0 flavor and include a blog for instance, where regular folks like you and I could have open conversations, and share our ideas of solutions to the big GW monster. I could definitely see that. Think a blog like the recent My Starbucks Idea.

If influencers are indeed the intended target of the “we” campaign, then you need to catch them where they are. In the blogs, on social networks, on YouTube. Not with traditional TV or print.

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What interests me most about Al Gore‘s new “we” campaign, is the movement it aims to create with citizens. Finally, there is a place from where to channel global actions from the bottom up. The site taps into the power of petitioning the powers in charge, similar to what the Swiss did a few months ago

There are currently four main initiatives that citizens can participate in:

Sign the petition for a global treaty on climate change

Tell your friends about our latest video

Urge the Press to Ask About Global Warming

Ask lenders to consider climate impact when funding new coal plants

I urge you to become a part of the “we” movement. If you are a blogger, maybe you can write a post about it, or copy this one? If you are a reader of blogs, maybe you can click on one of the four links above and do your share as a citizen? No matter what, this is too good of an initiative to be ignored.

May the “we” movement spread and ignite the people at the top!

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Some people think the “we” campaign is just a drop in the vast ocean of consumer advertising. In his New York Times article about the campaign, Andrew Revkin, quotes John Murphy Jr., associate professor of marketing at the University of Iowa:

“I think the global warming project media budget should be 10 times as high,” he said. “Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi spend over a billion dollars each year to promote brand preference for soft drinks. In this light, the $100 million per year to change our lifestyles seems pretty small.”

For some more perspective, here is the list of the top 10 brands with their yearly ad budgets – from Ad Age Top 200 Brands:

Is The “we” Campaign Just a Drop?

 

I understand the “we” campaign’s strategy of targeting ‘influentials’, and of trying to stretch their $300 million budget that way. It is a smart move, but cleverness can only go so far.

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I know it is just a teaser ad. Still the introductory TV spot being shown on Al Gore’s website leaves me wanting, and wondering. It says I should join the “we” organization. I put myself in the shoes of the average American, and here is what goes through my head:

Oh! no . . . Not another ad asking me to join something. First it was Obama, then Hillary, and now the global warming crew. The historical references leave me cold. You’ve got to touch my heart first, before you  get me to do anything.

I am curious. What was your reaction to the spot?

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From the Washington Post, more details on the Alliance for Climate Protection‘s $300 million “we” campaign:

The Alliance for Climate Protection‘s new TV ad is part of a $300 million campaign, among the costliest in U.S. history. Skeptics already are weighing in, accusing Gore of demanding sacrifices that he himself is not making.

Former vice president Al Gore will launch a three-year, $300 million campaign Wednesday aimed at mobilizing Americans to push for aggressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, a move that ranks as one of the most ambitious and costly public advocacy campaigns in U.S. history.

The Alliance for Climate Protection‘s “we” campaign will employ online organizing and television advertisements on shows ranging from “American Idol” to “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” It highlights the extent to which Americans’ growing awareness of global warming has yet to translate into national policy changes, Gore said in an hour-long phone interview last week. He said the campaign, which Gore is helping to fund, was undertaken in large part because of his fear that U.S. lawmakers are unwilling to curb the human-generated emissions linked to climate change.

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.

Private contributors have already donated or committed half the money needed to fund the entire campaign, he said. While Gore declined to quantify his contribution to the effort, he has devoted all his proceeds from the Oscar-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” the best-selling companion book, his salary from the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and several international prizes, such as the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, which add up to more than a $2.7 million. Paramount Classics, the documentary’s distributor, has pledged 5 percent of the film’s profits to the group, and some of the money raised through the 2007 Live Earth concerts will help the campaign, along with Gore’s proceeds from an upcoming book on climate change.

While “An Inconvenient Truth” urged viewers to fully inflate their car tires and to install compact fluorescent light bulbs to combat global warming, Gore said he is now focused on ensuring that the United States enacts a national carbon emission cap and ratifies a new global pact on climate change in the next three years.

The simple algorithm is this: It’s important to change the light bulbs, but it’s much more important to change the laws,” he said. “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.

The new effort comes at a time when the three remaining major party presidential candidates — Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) — have all endorsed federal limits on greenhouse gases, virtually ensuring that the next occupant of the White House will offer a sharp break from President Bush’s climate policy.

All three have discussed global warming with Gore in phone calls over the course of the past few months. While McCain backs a more modest plan than that favored by the Democrats — he supports a 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2050, compared with Obama and Clinton‘s vow of an 80 percent cut during that period — the presumptive Republican nominee emphasized during a recent stop in Chula Vista, Calif., that he had pushed for a federal cap-and-trade system before either of his opponents came to the Senate.

“Neither have proposed legislation or played any public role during their time in the Senate,” McCain said, sidestepping the fact that Clinton and Obama both back climate legislation, up for a Senate vote in June, that he has yet to endorse.

Gore, who backs a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by mid-century, said that while he’s “encouraged” that the remaining candidates back mandatory limits on greenhouse gases, they still need to be pushed: “What happens after the election will depend on whether or not we win enough hearts and minds in the country as a whole.

And former Rep. Sherwood L. Boehlert (R-N.Y.), a board member of the two-year-old alliance, said the candidates’ commitment to a cap-and-trade system does not negate the fact that the majority of Americans fail to see climate change as a compelling political issue.

“Most Republicans, along with most Democrats, are focused almost exclusively on Iraq, the war against terrorism and the economy,” Boehlert said. “That leaves little room for anything else.”

In an effort to penetrate Americans’ consciousness and change lawmakers’ political calculus, the group aims to enlist 10 million volunteers through a combination of network and cable commercials, display ads in magazines ranging from People to Real Simple, and online social networks. By contrast, the civil rights and antiwar movements in the 1960s each boasted about 5 million activists.

Cathy Zoi, the Alliance for Climate Protection‘s chief executive, said the group will focus on individuals known in the advertising world as “influencers” who talk to a disproportionate number of people in their communities. While some ads will target inside-the-Beltway policymakers, the bulk of their efforts will focus on the general public.

“This is modern organizing,” Zoi said, adding that the campaign aims to convince voters that “this is a solvable problem.

In an effort to broaden the campaign’s appeal, the alliance has already forged working partnerships with groups including the Girl Scouts and the United Steelworkers of America. One of its early ads will feature the unlikely alliance of clergymen Pat Robertson and Al Sharpton sitting on a couch on Virginia Beach, talking about their commitment to address climate change.

Its first ad, which is narrated by the actor William H. Macy, highlights American’s collective responses to historical challenges. “We didn’t wait for someone else to storm the beaches of Normandy,” Macy intones. “We didn’t wait for someone else to guarantee civil rights.” The commercial will run several times Wednesday on shows such as “Good Morning America,” “Today,” “American Idol,” “Larry King Live” and “Anderson Cooper 360.”

Al Gore “we” ad campaign 01

 

League of Conservation Voters president Gene Karpinski, whose group is supporting the effort, said he’s optimistic the “we” campaign will succeed in a way that traditional environmental groups have not. “It heightens both the urgency and the sense we can get the job done with the broad middle that will make the difference,” Karpinski said, “while having the resources to communicate in a sophisticated way, in a more expansive fashion than the community has done before.

If you cannot wait, you can see a teaser video on the Huffington Post.

I still need to see the whole campaign, but in light of all the discussions on this blog, the “we” effort seems like a step in the right direction. I have already contacted the Alliance for Climate Protection to volunteer my services as a blogger and activist. Will you?

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