Sequel Time

Isn’t it about time for Aaron Sorkin to begin a remake of his hit movie from the 1990s, An American President–you know, the film that was a sort-of valentine to President Clinton laying out the president they’d hoped he’d be, rather than the one he was? The one where the president, played ably by Michael Douglass, gets religion in the end and makes an impassioned speech for gun control (“I’m going to go door-to-door to get the guns!”) as well as serious greenhouse gas controls? (See about the 4 minute mark in this excerpt.) Of course, to make this movie work so he could get Annette Benning required that Hillary be killed off, which I always thought was Sorkin’s subtle play to attract conservatives to the film. But whatever.
I raise this possibility because the climate campaign has its warm-weather knickers in a twist because President Obama didn’t use the “C-word” (climate) in his State of the Union speech. “Obama Ducks and Covers on Climate” said Timesman Andrew Revkin on his widely read dotearth blog. Climate uber-blogger Joe Romm is depressed: “How can you solve global warming without talking about global warming?” Time magazine’s Bryan Walsh laments that “The State of the Union Is All About Energy–Not Climate.”
So it was only a matter of time before a climate campaigner would step up and write the fantasy script for the speech they’d like Obama to make. The author is Bill Becker, head of something called the “Presidential Climate Action Project” (because, you know, there’s a serious shortage of organizations working on climate change issues), and he offers his dream speech on the Climate Progress blog. Get through it if you can keep from yawning–a Sorkin-like oration it is not, even if you put the words in Michael Douglas’s mouth.
Meanwhile, something called the Science and Entertainment Network thinks popular culture can help promote greater climate change awareness among the public, because, you know, there just aren’t enough messages in popular entertainment about climate change. Wait–didn’t The American President already try that?
Sometimes sequels are better than the original. But not likely this time, unless they go for straight up slapstick or farce–think Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth crossed with Mel Brooks’s The Producers.