Al Gore's pro-environment message is resonating like wildfire in Belgium. The Goracle spent a day in Brussels in early October to promote his film "An Inconvenient Truth." He told the enraptured audience, "Our planet has a fever, and the fever has been getting steadily higher. " Since then, the country has been tripping over itself trying to enact legislation inspired by Gore's passion for the environment and concerns over global warming.
"We must take Al Gore's message seriously," said Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt when proposing a new "environmentally friendly" tax on packages that would penalize users of aluminum or plastic, which release harmful CO2 into the atmosphere. The tax would provide incentives to switch to less harmful paper or cardboard. The measure is quickly becoming known as the "Gore tax," and could become part of the 2007 budget. The government has also proposed tax breaks for car pollution filters and deductions for energy-efficient investors.