The Gore Factor: Reviewing the Impact of an Inconvenient Truth

By Smith, Mike; Hargoves, Charlie | Ecos, December 2006 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

The Gore Factor: Reviewing the Impact of an Inconvenient Truth

Smith, Mike, Hargoves, Charlie, Ecos

An Inconvenient Truth, featuring former US Vice President Al Gore's presentation on climate change, was released in cinemas across Australia on 14 September 2006. By 3 October, a Lowy Institute poll found that the issue of global warming had become a major concern for most Australians, who saw it as a bigger priority for the country than terrorism. The poll found that an overwhelming majority of Australians wanted action on climate change, even if it harmed the economy.

Alongside Al Gore's film, however, a number of other factors appear to have shifted community, business and political attitudes to the serious risks of human-induced climate change. These include the worsening drought, crop failures and the early start to the 2006-2007 bushfire season.

The United Kingdom's Stern Review, (1) which outlined the overwhelming economic case for early action on climate change, also had a profound impact, particularly on the Australian business community.

While these influences help explain the noticeable shift in attitude to climate change in Australia, it is hard to imagine it happening so rapidly without the impact of the film An Inconvenient Truth, Gore's book of the same title, and his tours and television appearances in Australia.

The movie is already now the fourth highest earning documentary in Australia's history, earning $3.9 million at box offices so far.

In addition, a significant Australian audience also watched Al Gore's widely publicised appearances on the ABC's 7:30 Report and Andrew Denton's Enough Rope, during his tour in late 2006.

But Gore's recent high profile in Australia is not a one-off. His commitment goes back to 2003 when he was brought over for the first time by EcoFutures to keynote the National Business Leaders Forum on Sustainable Development. It was at this event that he gave the travelling presentation to political and business leaders on climate change that is essentially the foundation for his 2006 documentary.

In the two months after its release, different members of the Federal Cabinet, such as Alexander Downer, were reported as now accepting the scientific reality of human-induced climate change. On ABC's Lateline program on 12 November, Federal Treasurer Peter Costello said, 'I think the ground is changing. I think it is important that we bring new countries into this discussion. And I think, from Australia's point of view, if the world starts moving towards a carbon trading system, we can't be left out of that, that Australia has a role'. (2)

The Federal Government has now initiated a landmark inquiry into emissions trading. And at the state government level, the South Australian and Victorian Governments have recently committed to 60% reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, a significant undertaking.

Unions too have changed their tune. A new policy announced by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in November includes support for the Kyoto Treaty, increased renewable energy targets and support for an emissions trading scheme.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

The Gore Factor: Reviewing the Impact of an Inconvenient Truth


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?