If you think this summer’s weather — flooding, fires, drought, more flooding, more fires — is out of whack with the norm, Al Gore has an inconvenient whack for all our noggins: get used to it. He’s about to deliver that message, today, for 24 hours straight, around the world in every time zone on earth, through his Climate Reality Project, which is an update to An Inconvenient Truth, except that it’s not a movie, it’s interactive, digital, and global.
The project, called 24 Hours of Reality, features a multimedia presentation viewable online that aims to showcase recent science on climate change and reveal how money motivates those who deny it. There will be ads on TV to promote it (see one at the bottom of this post) and a likely news blitz as well.
Hourly broadcasts will take place around the world, from tonight at 7 p.m. in Mexico City and then sweeping around the globe to end 24 hours later, with a presentation by Gore, live in New York City, at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
And, wisely, Gore’s teaming up with lots of other peeps to help present the message — and parse it, too. For example, you’ll hear from pro snowboarder Jeremy Jones, founder of Protect Our Winters.
And Gore told the Washington Post that by focusing on now, this year, he’s going to clearly tie the climate disasters of this very moment to a new climate reality, one tied to global climate change. He told the Post:
Think about the last year, we’ve had floods in Pakistan displacing 20 million people and further destabilizing a nuclear-armed country. We’ve had drought and wildfires in Russia. In Australia you’ve got floods the size of France and Germany combined. Then there’s drought in Texas — out of 254 counties in Texas, 252 are on fire. I’m talking to you from Nashville, where the city lost the equivalent of an entire year’s budget from recent floods — the area has never been flooded like this before, so no one had flood insurance. We’ve had ten disasters in the United States this year alone costing more than $1 billion and which were climate-related. It’s only a matter of time before reality sinks in, and we need both parties involved. And the only way to get the right answer is to understand the question.
Gore went on to explain that while scientists used to think that no one storm or current climate “event” was attributable to climate change, the science has shifted. “They used to say that the climate crisis changes the odds of extreme weather events — this was the old metaphor of ‘loading the dice.’ Now, they say there’s not only a greater likelihood of rolling 12s, but we’re actually loading 13s and could soon be rolling 15s and 16s.”
The focus of the Climate Reality Project, Gore says, isn’t just Obama’s agenda of “green” jobs and infrastructure and energy security — even though a lot of advocates of “new environmentalism” say it’s time to move beyond the debate about climate change being “real” or not, and that the winning argument is in pushing the universal economic benefit of conservation.
Gore says the economic benefits are good, but that still ignores the facts on the ground, that climate change is here already, and if we don’t do something about it it’s only going to cause more mayhem. Gore said, “I think when the right wing and carbon polluters intimidate people into avoiding the word climate or the subject of the climate crisis, that does not help in the long run. The core of the message still has to be about the reality we’re facing.”
This environmental coverage made possible in part by support from Patagonia. For information on Patagonia and its environmental efforts, visit www.patagonia.com.