Gore to bring eco-friendly message to UMBC

February 27, 2007|By Nia-Malika Henderson | Nia-Malika Henderson,sun reporter

Hoping to latch on to the buzz surrounding former Vice President Al Gore's double dose of Oscar, the Annapolis and Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce said yesterday that the Gore eco-friendly train will stop in Baltimore.

Gore, whose documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, took home Oscars on Sunday night for Best Documentary and Best Song, will give a 90-minute speech May 8 on the effects of global warming -- the topic that has turned him into a hip wonk.

"We snared him a good while ago and it just happened that he got the Nobel Peace Prize nomination and Oscar wins, so that was pretty cool," said Anne Joyner, who handles special projects for the Chamber of Commerce. "I just hope that he doesn't announce that he's going to run for president. We like the `What if he does?'"

About 1,000 tickets, priced at $35, have been sold. The venue, University of Maryland, Baltimore County Retriever Activities Center, holds 4,000.

Portions of the film will be shown before the speech, which will also include a question-and answer session.

Since losing his bid for president in 2000, Gore has devoted much of his attention to global warming, traveling the world with a PowerPoint presentation and urging audiences to become "carbon neutral." Coming across as professorial yet likable, Gore has risen to a level of prominence unknown to most former vice presidents.

He scored laughs during a Saturday Night Live appearance and has become a favorite in Hollywood circles. (Yes, that was Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney fawning over him at the Academy Awards. And yes, that was Hollywood's elite giving Gore a standing ovation.)

Joyner said Gore could get a similar reception in May.

"He puts great care in accepting an invitation and gives it some personal attention," she said. "And he's recognized that Marylanders are environmentally sensitive and focused, and his message will be well-received."

Information: www.themary landforum.com.

nia.henderson@baltsun.com

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