Last week, when Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Protection launched a $300 million public awareness initiative, I belived it would be influential in helping to build the political will needed to confront the energy crisis. As Gore said: "The elected officials in both parties are going to be timid about enacting the bold changes that are needed until there is a change in the public's sense of urgency in addressing this crisis." Sure.
It appears, however, the campaign's first brush with the body politic hasn't gone so well. A Rasmussen study played the first ad for Democrats, Republicans and Independents, whose disparate reactions suggest we have work to do.
It's worth watching both videos here--the first illustrates a certain age bias WRT climate change--but the second (above) shows the shocking partisanship that has seized the reins of the environmental debate discussion. I hesitate to say "debate;" in the final analysis, the denialists will be judged alongside the quaint anti-Copernicans of the 16th century. But of those who flatlined when the ad's green-talk began, how many truly subscribe to the compelling "no we can't" worldview, and how many are just walking the party line?
More importantly, how can any liberal--even Al Gore--fix the perception gap? My hunch: they're going to need some prominent GOP "converts" to take this thing to scale.