Al Gore's Increasingly Sinking Climate Change Ship

From once making an Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth to winning a Nobel Peace Prize, former Vice President Al Gore’s organizational efforts on behalf of climate change activism appear to be shrinking faster than a glacier in a hot tub.

Once consideredthe number-one climate change advocate in the world, the activist group he created with his fame has been steadily shrinking, as has its once-lofty mandate: to create a new nonpartisan global movement around climate change”.

Based upon Gore’s nonprofit’s tax filings, Buzzfeed calls the change “severe. Not so long ago, Gore’s group employed 300 people and had 40 field offices in 28 states. It also spent millions on advertising.”

It poured $28 million into advertising and promotion, and paid about $200,000 in lobbying fees at the height of the cap-and-trade energy bill fight on Capitol Hill.”

Now, with all of the groups field offices closed, the group employs approximately 30 people, making it about one-tenth of its previous size. 

Donations and grants have declined, too — from $87.4 million in 2008 to $17.6 million in 2011, and many of its high-profile donors have drifted away, one telling BuzzFeed she now sees the group’s initial vision as “very naïve.”

Even former supporters don’t seem to have much positive to say about Gore’s efforts now. One can only imagine the millions of dollars squandered for what seems to amount to little more than Gore hobnobbing with Hollywood and securing an Oscar and a Nobel Prize for himself.  

Some climate change activists look at the Climate Reality Project today and question whether it can do much in its newest, stripped-down iteration. In a testament to Gore’s celebrity, however, most of these comments come in private.

“I can’t really think of much to say about Gore’s efforts that I’d want to put on the record,” a prominent climate change activist told BuzzFeed in a typical email.


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