Evan McMorris-Santoro and Ruby Cramer have an article on BuzzFeed on Al Gore’s Incredible Shrinking Climate Change Footprint”.
That soul-searching process, said Stiles, led to the group’s current iteration: “Chapter 3.” From the embers of the lobbying effort came a smaller, less ambitious Alliance. The group that had planned to bring revolution to climate change advocacy instead sought out a smaller part of the existing movement. “We saw as our niche to bring together leaders in the advertising and social media and marketing worlds from some of the world’s most innovative companies,” Stiles said.
The former top official said it was an end to the broad ambitions. “Everyone hunkered down and stopped going for the moonshots,” the former official said. Gore himself took a step back, as his involvement was seen as politicizing in a way that it hadn’t at the outset, when his documentary was an international hit.
The smaller operation has drawn less interest from the national media — and even from some of the group’s own early backers. Susie Tompkins Buell, a California-based Democratic donor and one of Hillary Clinton’s closest friends, seeded $5 million in 2007 to the organization, but now says she hasn’t “followed it very much” or contributed since.
Buell cited her admiration for Gore — for “sticking with it,” she said in an interview by phone — but acknowledged her frustration at the lack of progress from the group, and the climate movement on the whole. (Last year, she notably declined to contribute to Obama’s reelection campaign because, she said, he had not been “vocal enough” on environmental issues.)
“I don’t regret doing it,” Buell said of her initial donation. “I think, honestly, we were all very naïve. We thought this would catch on. I really felt with the right media, with everything in place, we could really bring this problem to the forefront and really solve it.”
But was it impossible? Or was it a botched effort? It’s time to face the question. I have great admiration for Al Gore on many fronts, but after Inconvenient Truth his team has been ineffective.
In particular, ask anyone familiar with computer gaming what they think of “Reality Drop”. It’s an embarrassment and it’s time we admitted it.
I say this as someone who has long thought “gamification” could well be the answer to organized climate denial on the web. But doing it right is much harder than just slapping together some cute graphics.
The irony of Gore is that he’s so smart about everything except politics. His book “Assault on Reason” is well-crafted and true and about as convincing and compelling as a broadly accessible book on political philosophy could be. And the voice it is written in is unmistakably Gore’s. I’m not suggesting it was ghostwritten, but Mr. Gore conducts his public programs as if he had never even read the thing.