Repower America’s lastest advertising campaign to promote their new online feature “The Wall” is brilliant. The ads and the social media initiative vividly portray the diversity of support for serious climate action while also framing the relevance of the issue in ways that transcend the traditional ideological divide. As I wrote in a paper this spring at the journal Environment, the Repower campaign is a stark contrast to the dominant message of Inconvenient Truth which may have unintentionally reinforced the partisan divide on climate change.
Gore, however, also faces a major communication dilemma, one that I refer to as his Back Stage – Front Stage problem. From behind the curtain, directing the Repower America campaign, Gore’s strategic message and initiative holds the promise of transcending the ideological divide. But each time he steps front stage–such as this week on the cover of Newsweek–given his status as a former presidential candidate, Gore makes it easy for Americans to reinterpret climate change via a partisan lens while providing more rhetorical fodder for conservative media.