NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Former Vice President Al Gore on Monday launched a three-year, multimillion-dollar advocacy campaign calling for the U.S. to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
The Alliance for Climate Protection's campaign, dubbed "we," will combine advertising, online organizing and partnerships with grassroots groups to educate the public about global warming and urge solutions from elected officials.
"We're trying to get a movement happening to switch public opinion so that our leaders feel, 'Wow! We really need to make this a top priority issue,"' Alliance CEO Cathy Zoi told The Associated Press.
An advertising campaign will equate the climate-change movement with other grand historic endeavors, like stopping fascism in Europe during World War II, overcoming segregation in the United States and putting the first man on the moon.
Some advertisements will feature bipartisan pairs, such as the Rev. Al Sharpton with Pat Robertson and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Zoi said.
The Alliance will initially spend $300 million over three years, although Zoi said more could be spent in the future.
Some of the money for the campaign comes from Gore himself. Zoi said he contributed his personal profits from the book and movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," a $750,000 award from his share of the Nobel Peace Prize and a personal matching gift. She declined to provide the total amount.
"When politicians hear the American people calling loud and clear for change, they'll listen," Gore, the former Tennessee senator and 2000 presidential candidate, said in a statement. Gore's staff did not respond to calls seeking further comment.
Zoi says research suggests that many Americans are concerned about climate change but don't know what to do about it.
The "we" campaign Web site hopes to change that by offering ideas on conserving energy at home and work and guidance for those who want to do more, like writing to their elected officials.
"Some steps can be taken by individuals, but the biggest, most important decisions are going to be coming from government and corporate leaders," Zoi said. "We need to have people saying, 'We want you to take bold steps."'
The campaign is also working through partnerships with groups like the Girl Scouts. The group's 2.7 million members will take a climate action pledge and the Alliance will provide them with kits offering suggestions for projects they can do in their neighborhoods.