Yearly IPCC climate change documentary, and mobilizing the youth vote
by Georgeo57, Tue Dec 22, 2009 at 09:07:18 AM EST
As effective as Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth was in awakening a complacent America to the climate crisis we face, many among us were not sufficiently convinced by his presentation because of three reasons. The first is that Gore is a politician. The second is that Gore is not a climate scientist. And the third is that the complexities of climate change are too great to present in a one-time documentary.
As you know, the most authoritative body on climate change is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is comprised of over 3,000 scientists from 154 countries and whose conclusions require the 100 percent consensus of all countries that comprise it. My suggestion is for someone within our Democratic Party to persuade the IPCC to EVERY YEAR produce and premiere an updated documentary for worldwide public movie theatre distribution.
This documentary would remind the public about the dangers we face and apprise them of the steady stream of important developments, like James Hansen's 2008 paper concluding that the threshold CO2 number is no longer 450ppm, but 350ppm.
Gore made his movie with a budget of just $1 million, and it earned $49 million in gross receipts at the box office. If the IPCC were to spend as much as $10 million each year to produce and distribute each documentary, and earn only $10-$20 million dollars in gross revenue, each documentary would be a major success.
Ideally our Federal Government and the governments of other countries could mandate that for a period of three weeks each years, movie theatres in all regions of the country would show the film. If we called upon several hundred thousand soldiers to make the sacrifice of going to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight for us, surely we can call upon public movie theatres to show this IPCC climate change documentary for a few weeks each year.
Politically, these yearly films would make it far easier for President Obama and our Democratic Congress to pass whatever climate legislation will be needed during the coming years. Also, young "Millennial Generation" voters who opted for President Obama over John McCain by a margin of 66 to 32 points, and who are every year adding an additional 4.5 million voters to the electorate, would be far more motivated to vote and become more politically active because of these yearly films.
As you may know, a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found that the percentage of Americans who believe that global warming is happening has fallen over the last year from 80 percent to 72 percent. Clearly, current outreach and public education efforts on climate change are not having their intended effect.