While fears of cloning surfaced in this week’s senate debate on stem cell research, the Australian Conservation Foundation is forging ahead with plans to prepare an army of clones of its own – an army of Al Gore clones.

For three days from Saturday 18 November, a group of 75 “climate change messengers” with an “unrelenting passion and a strong desire to spread the word about dangerous climate change” will be trained in Sydney by Gore, the ACF and a group of “eminent Australian climate scientists” to take the slide show from An Inconvenient Truth to the Australian people.

We say “presumably” because even the broadest details about the scheme were off limits when Crikey today asked ACF media assistant Sarah about details of their proselytisation plan. Who are the “eminent Australian climate scientists” engaged to help in the training? Sorry, can’t tell you that. What’s the eventual action plan for the Al Gore acolytes? None of your business. And the contents of their presentations? That’s private too.

Given the enthusiasm of climate-concerned moviegoers who gobbled up Gore’s message, it’s hard to understand why details are strictly classified. What’s to hide? And who decided nobody would talk about it?

When the climate messengers hit the streets, with name badges neatly clipped to their pressed white shirts, Crikey hopes they’ll be more willing to answer questions from the gallery, and especially from sceptics. The credibility of their work depends on it.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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