Enviro-darling Al Gore is just about all over the place these days. This Saturday he and concert producer Kevin Wall are putting on Live Earth, the 24-hour global warming benefit, and he just graced the cover of our July/August issue for Ellen McGirt’s feature, “Al Gore’s $100 Million Makeover.”
Now, Gore’s really upped the ante by topping ex-UN chief Kofi Annan, ex-boss Bill Clinton and even Oprah (yes, Oprah) as the most influential person in the world to fight climate change.
In a 47-country survey released yesterday, consumers listed Gore and Annan as the world’s best mascots for the campaign against global warming, according to media/research firm Nielsen and Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute.
Asked to hypothetically draft up to three celebrities best-equipped to fight climate change, nearly 20 percent of 26,000-plus respondents listed Gore; Annan tied Clinton with 15 percent of the vote, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Nelson Mandela.
Red t-shirts, adopted babies and Terminator-dom didn’t help Bono, Angelina Jolie and Arnold Schwarzenegger crack the top five, but the three celebs rounded out the top eight in the list of most-influential crusaders. You can check out the full rankings from Nielsen here.
In the United States, Gore edged out Oprah 30 percent to 28 percent as the most powerful spokesperson, followed by Bill Clinton, Ahhh-nold and Bono.
Nielsen conducted the massive climate change survey after observing higher-than-ever concern about global warming in previous polls. Climate change ranked fourth among the global public’s most pressing concerns in an April 2007 survey, compared with its eighth-place rank just six months before.
Gore’s Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth might’ve had something to do with raising public awareness, says Jonathan Banks, business insight director at Nielsen in the UK. The climate change survey released yesterday found that about three-quarters of people who saw the movie said they are changing some habits as a result. Banks heartily encouraged me to see it too (no, I haven’t, but I swear I never buy my hair spritz in aerosol).
Why does Nielsen care about consumers’ celeb picks?
“If the public is going to get engaged, the issue has got to become more sexy,” Banks says.