Al Gore's new movie, An Inconvenient Truth, has sparked a lot of activity in the VC community. My friend Don Yates notes that his daughter and son-in-law even bought out the entire theater and held a free showing for her friends and contacts.
The problem is that the debate over global warming (or, as Seth Godin recommends calling it, climate cancer) continues to be a near stalemate, which means that little is likely to happen.
Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures had a discussion with his dad about what he could do (such as buying carbon credits), which left him feeling pessimistic about the likelihood of change.
I won't get into the science of global warming. Global warming activists are right that our climate is getting warmer, and that carbon dioxide levels are higher than ever before. But global warming skeptics are also right that correlation is not causation.
What I will say is this: If you believe that global warming is a threat to mankind, the most important thing you can do is not to go out and buy carbon credits or to trade in your SUV for a Prius. The most important thing you can do is to find a way to change as many minds as possible.
If a majority of voters thought that global warming was an important issue and demanded action, democratic governments would have to do something about it, regardless of how much money the oil companies donated or how many commercials they ran.
If showing people "An Inconvenient Truth" is a good way change their minds, why not do what Paul Holland and Linda Yates did, but on a grand scale?
All you'd have to do is buy two hours of primetime airtime on all four major television networks, and do a simulcast of the movie, along with pleas for action from people all across the political spectrum (so that it didn't seem like yet another nag-a-thon from the pinko-commie/Hollywood axis of bleeding hearts and smug celebrities).
Too expensive you say? Given that the total advertising costs for the Superbowl, America's biggest television event, run in the $100-200 million range, the cost would be enormous, but well within the reach of a George Soros or John Doerr.
And once you announced the plan, it would take on a life of its own, with the attendant media coverage of this surprise tactic bringing even more attention to the issues.
If this actually happens, remember, you heard it here first!