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.
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.