Opinion: Gore has spoken: but will businesses act?

Daniel Rogers talks about Al Gore's first movie - The Inconvenient Truth - and why you should see it

Did you know that Tuesday saw the warmest September night for over 30 years? You probably heard it on TV or radio. But we're bombarded with meteorological hyperbole these days; like July being the UK's hottest since records began; or 2005 seeing the planet's highest temperatures since instrumentation was developed. The media keep churning out the ‘weather facts' and we, by and large, switch off.

This is why you should see Al Gore's first movie - The Inconvenient Truth - which opens in the UK next week. You are probably, understandably, sceptical. Isn't this a failed presidential candidate trying to relaunch his career? And we've heard all this climate change stuff before; even the Conservative Party has jumped on the bandwagon.

But Gore's film - which Sky previewed at an event last Friday - is a revelation. Not because it tells us something we don't already know, but because it comes from an American, with numerous ties to big business. Gore's father was a tobacco farmer and his sister died of smoking-related lung cancer, so he knows a bit about business ethics.

The documentary is an extended version of a lecture that Gore gives around the world, and he reels off some unpalatable material to his US audience: like the fact that the Chinese motor industry is massively more advanced in green technology than its US equivalent; or the prediction that in 50-100 years' time, Ground Zero in Manhattan could be under several feet of sea.

One sensed that David Attenborough's recent BBC documentary marked a turning point in the UK debate. And it could be that Gore's film will be the Supersize Me or Fahrenheit 9/11 of the issue globally.

Whether businesses actually act on any of this is a completely different matter. Euro RSCG, which sponsored last week's screening, tells PRWeek it plans to be the first major marketing services group to become carbon neutral. It will be a welcome drop in a very large ocean.
danny.rogers@haynet.com

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