I’ll be honest: The new Environmental Defense TV ads about global warming make me cringe. The public is conditioned at this point to view environmental groups as alarmists, and these ads could not possibly play more neatly into that stereotype. I mean, ominous music? A scary, deep-voiced narrator? A train heading toward a little girl? Seriously?

Who’s going to do anything but roll their eyes?

If I was going to do a 30-second commercial, here’s the script I’d use:

[Over very brief montage of smokestacks, hurricanes, and parched deserts.] Global warming’s already here, and it’s only going to get worse. In the next 20-40 years, everything’s going to have to change: the way we get around; the way we produce our food; the way we power our homes and offices.

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[Fade to bright montage of people in laboratories, wind turbines, farmers in fields, construction workers looking at building plans, high-speed trains, etc.] There will be difficulties we don’t yet understand; professions we have not yet named; opportunities we have not yet begun to grasp. The next generation will be called on to create something entirely new: a prosperous, sustainable, healthy society. Let’s unleash their energy. Give them the tools and knowledge they need.

Together, we can overcome the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. Let’s get started.

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Hm … that might be a little longer than 30 seconds. But you get the idea.

What do you think? What would your ad look like?