Al Gore in Sterling
...Sorry, that should have read:
AL GORE IN STERLING!!
I wandered down to the local Costco to wile away a few minutes in the air conditioned aisles piled three storeys high with glistening merchandise, as is my wont, and here's what greeted me.
"Al Gore book signing! Vice President Al Gore is signing books in the store right now! Get a signed copy of Al Gore's new book! Al Gore book signing! Get your peanuts and cold drinks heah!"
Ok that last phrase was made up, but that Cosco guy was yelling to drum up interest, and the former VP was there at lunchtime today, all right. The line to get An Inconvenient Truth signed by the author was a couple hundred shoppers long, but as a dutiful citizen journalist I knew what I had to do. So I got in line and spent about 15 minutes thinking of some witty repartee I might have with the Inconvenient One himself.
As it turned out, the line moved real fast, because Al's handlers permitted no first names for personalization and in fact all you got to do was say "hi" before being wisked past. I didn't rock the boat, because the only thing I could think of to say was: "If global warming is eventually proven NOT to be a crisis for the Earth, I still think all the work you're doing is great."
Such a line doesn't work at all unless it gets to set in for a moment or two.
If I got a follow-up I would also have asked: "I heard you mention purchasing verifiable reductions elsewhere to offset your travel via private jets and large vehicles. Where can I get some of those for my SUV?"
Al did a nice job interacting with the line of folks, with a bare minimum of actual interaction but pleasant enough.
Yes, I did get myself a signed copy. So I've learned that if you want to convey a looming crisis, satellite photos of hurricanes in full color make a KILLER visual. Also good are floods, fires, deforestation, hockey-stick graphs, ships grounded in the middle of the desert, atomic bomb blasts - and I think there's even a shot of a kitten stuck in a tree. Stuff o' nightmares, I tells ya.
All of that is juxtaposed with some really nice pictures of Al. And let me tell you, the message works: Given a choice between Hurricane Katrina and the former VP sitting in a field, I'm a Gore man all the way.
And I'll gladly plunk down the $12.49 Costco price to get a prop for a blog post. We should all be prepared to sacrifice a little.
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