Al Gore's enviro-preachamentary An Inconvenient truth has been a huge hit with the self-righteous environmentalist crowd. Gore has positioned himself as a prophet in an expensive suit traveling by jet plane and limo around the country to lecture us unwitting slobs on how we need to conserve energy, reduce pollution and reduce consumption to go green (around the gills)
If you go to An Inconvenient Truth's website, you'll encounter a list of tips for conserving energy use and recycling and a prominent ad for the DVD. Click on the ad and it will take you to the Amazon.com page where you'll be offered a chance to buy a DVD. That's right, buy a physical DVD. A plastic box wrapped in packaging containing a physical DVD disc.
Belaboring the obvious? Well every year 45 million tons of CD's and DVD's will be dumped into landfills (this isn't even counting the packaging just the discs alone.) Al Gore's movies are likely to end up in a whole lot of landfills, yet Paramount Home Video which is distributing the movie doesn't provide any information on recycling the DVD's or their packaging which are hardly made of biodegradable materials.
Then we come to the factories that make the DVD's and the packaging. Nope they sure don't grow on trees. Instead they involve factories and lots and lots of chemicals and energy use.
Then there's the delivery. DVD's don't fly by themselves to your Blockbuster or ship themselves to your home. They require planes, trucks, trains. Big polluting engines that tow them to where they need to be.
The same people who wallow endlessly in their self-righteousness will be shelling out money for a physical product whose manufacture, distribution and disposal involve the utilization of large amounts of pollution, energy, resource consumption and waste.
Now I might just be belaboring the obvious, if there wasn't a stunningly simple alternative. Go digital. Instead of selling DVD's, sell digital downloads. Broadband connections are now widespread in American homes, even video game consoles like the X-Box 360 are integrating purchasing and downloading videos online.
Unlike fueling cars, heating homes or manufacturing goods, the alternative to all the polluting and wasteful activity described above is a snap. All a digital download consumes is the amount of energy it takes to power servers and home computers. A truly green solution. Yet instead Gore is pushing physical DVD purchases through Amazon.
So why hasn't Gore gone digital? The answer is as always cash. The other kind of green Al Gore loves even more than the environmentally sound kind of green.
Gore could limit himself purely to digital DVD download sales but that would lose him customers who don't have that capability. More importantly he'd lose out on the impulse buyers and rentals of a Blockbuster or your local video store. On top of all that Paramount Home Video would oppose digital downloads because they make piracy too easy. Gore could distribute the movie through a non-profit group but then he'd lose out on the distributing muscle of a major studio.
Why isn't An Inconvenient Truth going digitally green, because of the bottom line. Same as every corporate polluter and consumer, the money comes first. Al Gore and the Horsemen of the Environmental Apocalypse won't shut up about conserving, reducing and cleaning up but when given an easy way to cut the amount of waste and pollution he's responsible for, Al chose to pollute.
Yet even that is still only the tip of the iceberg. Al Gore released An Inconvenient Truth first into theaters and only months later began selling the DVD's. This is a common aspect of Hollywood done as part of a deal with theater owners to maximize profits. Yet if Al Gore had really wanted to inform people and cut some waste, he could have sold DVD's of the movie in theaters, as Mark Cuban had tried to do. Yet Gore chose to follow common Hollywood practices to pad the bottom line. For that matter releasing the movie as a digital download on the internet would have gotten word out far more efficiently and bypassed theaters and the kind of wasteful consumption that takes place when hundreds of thousands of people drive cars to movie theaters, consume overpriced junk food just to see Al Gore's giant head on the screen warning them about the dangers of wasteful consumption. Et Tu Al.
Purchasers of Gore's movie might like to pretend that they're somehow superior to the hoi polloi who wastefully shop and consume, but when they take home a plastic DVD box with a physical DVD inside that had to be manufactured, shipped, distributed, transported, packaged and sold, they're engaging in the same kind of waste. And their waste had an easy alternative. The reason for all that waste was greed. And that's the real Inconvenient Truth.
"Mankind has had less effect on global warming than previously supposed, a United Nations report on climate change will claim next year, the organisation has reduced its overall estimate of this effect by 25 per cent."