by Mike Wilcox
On May 5th through 7th I attended the Climate Leadership Reality Corps training in Cedar Rapids Iowa. The training was the 28th sponsored by the Climate Reality Project which is led by its Chairman, former Vice President and Nobel Laureate, Al Gore. The aim of the training, largely done by Chairman Gore, is to establish a grassroots network of Climate Leaders to stand up to denial, press for solutions and spread the truth about climate change. Two more leadership trainings are scheduled for this year with one being held in Toronto next month and the other in Miami in September. 350 people from around the country and the world attended the training.
It was energizing to be with other environmentalists of all ages from all over the USA and from countries like Nigeria, Pakistan and Nepal.
The training from Mr. Gore was very comprehensive in laying out the science, data and visual impact climate change is having on our home, planet earth. All of the trainees have access to the Climate Reality Hub which is a portal from which the Climate Reality Leaders can download the slideshow Mr. Gore used, get updated information on climate change and other resources to assist the leadership corps in doing their work in their respective communities.
There were also panel discussions geared towards the Midwest and Iowa in particular. They addressed renewable energy sources, related policy issues as well as on agricultural issues in general. There were also several breakout workshops on how to communicate effectively when giving a presentation and on general community organizing.
Chairman Gore stated Iowa was selected as a site for the training this year due to the caucuses and the ability to address climate change issues with the candidates as they campaign in the state. Iowa is also a leader in utilizing renewable energy primarily through wind generation.
Mr. Gore’s closing comments to the conference were very moving and his concerns about climate change were genuinely evident. He appreciated us for our taking the time to attend the conference and to do the work of being climate leaders. He was also hopeful about the positive trends to address climate change going on now and in the future. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in doing this work to attend one of the Leadership Trainings and you will have an experience you will not forget. You can find out more about The Climate Reality Project at ClimateRealityProject.org. You can also follow my new blog about climate change here.