We are living in extraordinary times, a kind of inflection point, where multiple crises are coming together: a global pandemic, economic breakdown, threats to Earth’s ecological health, and an upcoming election that will be a game changer for the future.
Many of us have recently been impacted by the effects of raging wildfires here in the western states; the Climate emergency has been on our minds as we struggle with breathing toxic air or look out to orange skies. There has never been a better time to demand Climate action or become a Climate activist.
Every year the Climate Reality Project- the organization created by Al Gore- organizes citizen trainings around the world to foster activism on Climate Change. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to host two virtual global trainings for July and August of this year. The response to the announcement of these trainings exceeded all expectations, as well over 10,000 people enthusiastically signed up to become Climate activists.
As the current chair of Climate Reality SLO, I had the opportunity to serve as a mentor at the first of these week-long zoom trainings. (I had done my initial Climate Reality Project training, in Los Angeles, in 2018 with a group of Central Coast activists.) My trainees at this virtual global training would include a range of people, some new to activism and some not: schoolteachers, engineers, doctors, and students.
This first virtual global training would pose some interesting technical challenges for the organizers, but apart from a few zoom glitches, the program proceeded with remarkable efficiency. The week-long program would be broken up into live broadcast days (talks given by Al Gore/Teachers/Scientists/Activists) and days where trainees could access a variety of video and text assignments. On live broadcast days the talks would be followed by trainees assigned to breakout rooms with their mentor. We would collectively discuss the talks and submit a question to be addressed in the next live broadcast session. All trainees are given a very comprehensive overview of the latest climate science and evolving solutions.
On the final day of the course trainees, having submitted their assignments (including their “Climate Story”), are awarded their GREEN RING pin and given access to the Reality Hub: The Climate Reality Project community resources network. Activists are encouraged to create their own page and track their pledged 10 Acts of Leadership for the year. One kind of leadership activists are encouraged to develop is to learn to give Climate presentations, like those that Al Gore pioneered in his An Inconvenient Truth films. Trained activists are given access to Al Gore’s constantly updated slide show for their presentations. People are free to create their own unique slideshows as well.
Speaking of presentations, this is a good time to segue to the upcoming 24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to The Future, Oct. 10-11 2020
Ecologistics Board Member and Program Director