Al Gore Feeling Web 2.0

2008 November 8
by Grace Boyle

With the rise of social media and the internet playing a big part in the election, it’s no surprise everyone (if you haven’t been living under a rock) wants to catch on the bandwagon of leveraging web 2.0 for their “cause.” One such believer in web 2.0 is the former Vice-President, Al Gore. Claire Cain Miller covered Al Gore’s recent speech at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, November 5-7th in The New York Times.

(Photo Credit: Eric Risberg/AP)

With Al Gore his vision and purpose was clear. Use web 2.0 to fight global warming. He asserted, “The purpose, I would urge all of you — as many of you as are willing to take it up — is to bring about a higher level of consciousness about our planet and the imminent danger and opportunity we face because of the radical transformation in the relationship between human beings and the Earth.”

All right, fight global warming through the many online tools out there and raise consciousness…but how? He didn’t exactly say how, which to me is interesting. Devoid of a takeaway or proactive solution. I also felt the same way about An Inconvenient Truth. It clearly shook many people to the core. I thought it was well-done and presented many shattering facts, but I didn’t see a strong sense of action coming from it. Gore seemed to recognize this at the Web 2.0 Summit he believed his advocacy work hasn’t been enough. “I feel, in a sense, I’ve failed badly,” he said. “Because even though there’s a greater sense of awareness, there is not anything anywhere close to an appropriate sense of urgency. This is an existential threat.”
So we’re back to social media and its viral nature. Without much specificity the Internet, the “cloud,” where information is stored Gore urged, “we have to have the truth–the inconvenient truth, forgive me–stored in the cloud so that people don’t have to rely on that process, and so we can respond to it collectively.”

So I say start with the basics, use your voice online. Research, speak, tweet, blog. We’re so far behind in these efforts that nothing it too little or too much.

For more information visit these sights about how to spread the word and raise consciousness: (http://www.fightglobalwarming.com) (http://www.climatecrisis.net/) and (http://www.algore.com/)

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  • Adam Fullerton

    Good points, a call to action is vital to any online efforts. I think a lot of people are so quick to jump on the bandwagon they may overlook this crucial point. Also, An Inconvenient Truth was about Al Gore’s efforts to raise awareness about global warming, not global warming itself, this left many people, including me, a bit unsatisfied.

  • Grace Boyle

    Adam, it’s so true. I think Al Gore’s, An Inconvenient Truth had a lot of benefits and did raise awareness. I just believe that it’s two-fold and it left a lot of people hanging…more or less. I see a lot of ‘online efforts’ articles and posts but I usually don’t see a lot of here’s HOW.

  • The Happiness Zone:

    I think many Americans are unconscious, and it takes a huge crisis like the financial one we’re being faced with, to wake everyone up, and force us to change. Of course, another hindrance is that there are many, otherwise intelligent people, who don’t believe that global warming is real, or that it was caused by the actions of people (Sarah Palin being one of them). I do hope that social media will more quickly spread the news, but there are many ways to decrease global warming such as planting more trees and driving more fuel efficient cars and driving less. You’ve inspired me to do my part on by blog also. See http://www.agreencross.org/targets.asp

  • Grace Boyle

    You’ve taken a step in the right direction even with small actions (fuel efficient cars AND blogging). I too, believe that the actions are highly important, especially the ones that affect global warming instantly. It’s like the silence and dynamism combination in life, need both to be fulfilled. Thanks for your comments and creating this dialogue guys!

  • Adam Fullerton

    Great points. Its really easy to point the finger but to be constructive with your voice is the best way to motivate others.