Al Gore’s much touted movie, The Inconvenient Truth opens nationwide today, and goes wider next week. (You can see the trailer here or here.)

I haven’t seen the film yet yet, but I did see Gore’s live multi-media version (on which the film is based) at Stanford late last year. Besides being a tour de force of presentation skills (I left the theater thinking – like many others I spoke to – “Where was this guy when we needed him on the campaign trail in 2000?”), it was a chilling glimpse into our all too likely future. (My posse tells me the movie is a bit long, and a bit too [candidate?] Gore-focused, but still well worth seeing. See it sooner rather than later, since the early returns will guide how widely Paramount rolls it out.)

Investment executive Tom Van Dyck says:

I’ve seen Gore give this presentation 6 times and it is hands down one of the best I’ve seen on any topic, but especially Global Warming. Armed with eloquence, scientific data and humor, Gore decisively settles the ‘debate’ on global warming and connects all the challenges presented by the imminent climate crisis: rising sea levels, displaced populations, extreme weather, disease, biodiversity, agriculture, air quality, peace and security. In the end, it is a compelling call to action and you will not leave unmoved….

It is essential that as many people see it as possible-this film awakens all, regardless of political affiliation, who see it to what is really at stake…. take your skeptical family and friends with you who have bought into the rhetoric that Global Warming is a ‘theory’.

As we enter a carbon constrained economy those management teams that are more aware of this reality will be better situated to take advantage of opportunities in their businesses and deliver more value to their shareholders than management teams blinded to the reality of global warming. The most obvious example is Toyota vs GM and Ford. Many other examples will develop over the next decade that will reward those who have a vision of environmental responsibility and best business practices.

As if that wasn’t enough, we saw NRDC’s global warming opus (a mere PowerPoint deck) at Googleplex a few months ago. It was that very much of the content surprised me — it didn’t — but seeing the whole case carefully assembled and hammered home shook even my sometimes jaded self to the core.

Two immediate impacts for me: 1) looking more deeply at my family’s personal choices and carbon footprint (all too easily overlooked as I spend my days giving advice to others); 2) talking more with our clients, their CxOs, and their boards about the risks — and fiduciary duty implications — of willful neglect of these trends, and the opportunities — and future-proofing potential — of engaging them responsibly, aggressively — and right now.

In related news, our friends at Worldchanging have declared — in response to climate-skeptic comment postings — that the debate is over. (Hey, even George Bush agrees… sorta.)

Indeed, it is precisely because the climate
crisis is so profound that we need to encourage the American debate on
the subject to move on, finally and for good, and start to focusing on
how to build a bright green future as quickly as possible. The
science, after all, is pretty unequivocal at this point
.
Indeed, essentially the last remaining credible skeptic, Scientific
American columnist Michael
Shermer
announced this month that, despite his dislike for
environmental groups,

[D]ata trump politics, and a convergence of
evidence from numerous sources has led me to make a cognitive switch on
the subject of anthropogenic climate change. … Because of the
complexity of the problem, environmental skepticism was once tenable.
No longer. It is time to flip from skepticism to
activism.

In other words, the debate is over. It’s just over. Climate
change is here, it’s scarier than we thought, we’re causing it, and
(especially in combination with other large-scale environmental and
social problems) it’s going to demand radical innovation and major
reforms.

But how do we get the word out to a wider audience?

And bless their creative little worldchanging hearts, they’re working on just that:

As we work to prepare a first draft of the “Universal Climate Skeptic Response Post” — a single-page resource explaining why the debate on the need for action in response to climate change is over — we are also looking create some compelling visuals bearing the same message. Indeed, this is our first design competition.

(In lighter climate news, Ideal Bite‘s excited about Hollywood’s embrace of the climate change issue (and the industry’s abilty to move a message can help move minds). OTOH, others wonder about the net carbon impact of stars showing up for the Oscars in electric cars but still flying between megahomes in private jets….)


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