Reality Show: Al Gore Connects the Dots in OnEarth, an NRDC publication by Ben Jervey

Al Gore has been silent lately but no more.
Though his is no doubt the voice most associated with climate change (for better or worse), it seems like it’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Al Gore on the subject. Well, Al’s back, with quite the splash. A few weeks ago, Rolling Stone published his sprawling 7,000-word essay heaping criticism on likely targets including fossil-fuel funded junk scientsts and the misinformation-perpetuating mass media (which, as CEO of CurrenTV, he’s certainly a part of). Even President Obama, whom Gore endorsed for president, gets burned for not prioritizing climate change.

So now, after unloading all his frustration, Gore is taking the next step and organizing another of his patented global climate events. This one, scheduled for September 14, is called the Climate Reality Project, and it sets out to connect the dots between manmade climate change and the crazy weather extremes that the world has been experiencing over the past few years.

Check out the “trailer” for the so-called “24 hours of reality.”

Here’s how Gore describes it in his journal:

The climate crisis is a reality, and we are seeing its impacts in extreme weather all around the world. Using the same deceitful playbook as big tobacco used years before to mislead the public about the dangers of smoking, oil and coal companies and their allies are now deceiving the public about climate change. They have nearly unlimited resources to sow doubt, but we have one critical advantage: Reality is on our side.

I don’t think many would argue that the staunchest deniers subscribe to a different “reality” altogether, so I don’t expect to wake up on September 15 to a world where everyone agrees on climate change. Best case scenario: the Climate Reality Project gets a lot of coverage that better illustrates the complicated-but-real connections between warming and weather. If so, some middle-of-the-road climate agnostics might come to better appreciate — and fear — the very real threat of climate change.

My only true gripe with the event doesn’t have to do so much with the theme, but with the timing. It’s a mere ten days before’s big Moving Planet distributed global action. Billed as “a day to move beyond fossil fuels,” creative events and actions are planned in cities and towns all over the world.

Maybe that won’t be a big problem, though. Gore’s Climate Reality Project is focused on 24 big cosmopolitan cities (one for each time zone), so concerned citizens in smaller cities and towns can still devote their time and energy to planning for Moving Planet.


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