I remember the first time I saw a news report years ago about a celebrity who arrived at some gala function in a Toyota Prius, making a point about the need to do what we can to reduce our personal environmental impact. Soon lots of celebrities were driving Priuses, and Toyota couldn't keep up with demand.
Saturday I was encouraged to see the small story in The Bee's World Digest: Gore uses Oslo mass transit.
OSLO, Norway -- Former Vice President Al Gore skipped the traditional airport motorcade and took public transportation when he arrived Friday in Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize he shared for his campaign against global warming.Longer versions of the Associated Press story included this:
Gore will accept the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize he shared with the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at a ceremony in the Norwegian capital on Monday.
Before his arrival with his wife, Tipper, Gore told his hosts that he would not need the traditional motorcade from the airport, preferring to take the high-speed and environmentally friendly airport train, and then walking to his downtown Oslo hotel.I'm not completely sold on Al Gore's new role as environmental guru. He is certainly profiting handsomely from it. (See this Dec. 9 TimesOnline article: A convenient £50m for green Gore.) But if Gore can convince more people that riding transit is a socially responsible, environmentally sensitive thing to do, then more power to him.
"I use public transport when I can. It isn't always possible," Gore told The Associated Press while walking to his hotel. He said the train was much faster than a limousine, but that it was also a symbol of efforts to reduce pollution in hopes of slowing climate change.
"It is a gesture. It is also one of the changes we are all going to have to be doing anyway," Gore said about the need to change travel habits.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been riding Gore's coattails, trying to get a little of that popularity that attaches to all things green today. Now that Gore is riding transit, one can only hope we'll see a similar transformation of "The Evil Transitator."