Q & A With Laurie David
Photo Credit: Lester Cohen
Environmental activist Laurie David has, with a tragic assist from Hurricane Katrina, brought unprecedented focus to the global-warming debate. The movie she produced, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, was just released on DVD, and she recently published The Solution is You! An Activist's Guide. On an unseasonably hot October day in New York, she talked about . . . well, guess what.
Q: YOU DECIDED TO SPEND 2005 TRYING TO DRAW THE ATTENTION OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC TO THE ISSUE OF GLOBAL WARMING. WHAT WAS YOUR STRATEGY?
A: Very simple. To de-wonkify it. To use every resource I had, every friendship, every relationship, to get into mainstream media to talk about this issue in a way people could understand. To me, it all came down to the purchase of a car. Because if every mom knew that by driving an SUV she's doubling the global warming of the atmosphere, which is going to impact her summer, her winter, her kid's lives, she wouldn't make that choice. So how do you reach these women? That's what I set out to do.
Q: HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY HAVE KNOWN AL GORE'S "LITTLE SLIDE SHOW" WOULD MAKE SUCH A COMPELLING FILM?
A: The second I saw it, I knew it worked. Because I'm about message. I understand how to deliver a message, that's my skill. And if I know something is good, I will kill myself selling it. I will.
Q: BUT DIDN'T YOU THINK THE MESSAGE MIGHT BE BEST DRIVEN HOME BY SOMEONE LIKE GEORGE CLOONEY?
A: No, I never thought that. Gore had so much credibility on this issue. He had the slides and he had the science behind him, and he had honed it over thousands of miles and thousands of hours of talking to people.