In 2007, I had the honor and the privilege of training with Al Gore to become a Climate Reality leader. These 3 days changed the direction and future course of my life. My 2007 training was one of the first 6 trainings of the newly formed Climate Project (now Climate Reality Project). These first trainings were conducted by former Vice President Al Gore – as have been all subsequent trainings – and they were held in Nashville, Tennessee. 1000 people were trained over this first year. In October 2017, I was a mentor in Pittsburgh, PA where we trained 1400 climate leaders over 3 days. As my dear friend Jill likes to say, “we need everyone, everywhere doing everything all the time as quickly as possible.” While certainly larger in scale then the 2006/7 trainings, at this most recent training the same hopes were strengthened and reaffirmed, new friendships and life long bonds were forged, and a fierce determination to succeed was enshrined in all.
It’s not easy logistically to train so many people at one time. The staff, the experts, and the mentors each contribute to creating a unique event, filled with long days of learning, networking, and discovery. Your head and your heart are made to hurt; nothing is held back about the gravity of the situation we face and the urgency of the crisis before us. Yet, no one wants to leave when the three days are up. To be in a room surrounded by so many people who are like you in so many ways is truly a life-affirming event. On the surface it seems everyone is so different, coming from diverse backgrounds and different locations around the country and around the world. Yet, we all share the hope and the belief that we can and will re-build our home; that a livable, healthy, and safe world can and will be a reality for us all and for our children, and their children. We all know it won’t be easy and that time is not on our side.
At our Pittsburgh training I was awarded the Green Ring, which is given “to an outstanding Climate Reality Leader who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to their role as a climate communicator and activist. “
Wow!! I am so incredibly proud and honored to be the recipient of this very, very special award. Yet I know without a doubt that it could have been given to any one of the other 1400 people in the room, or the 12,000 Climate Reality Project leaders, not in Pittsburgh with us, who help to make up our Climate Reality family. I am fortunate to work with so many inspiring people. We aren’t giving up, we have our eyes wide open and yet we still believe we can and we will win against this existential threat we face from our changing climate and ourselves. Together we are unstoppable!
With love and gratitude to all our Climate Mamas and Papas. A special thanks to my Climate Reality family – for strengthened my commitment and fortifying my resolve – we will succeed because we must. I will continue to live each day by our Climate Mama Motto: “Tell the Truth, Actions Speak Louder Than Words, Don’t be Afraid.”
Stay tuned and consider joining us for our next training. The date and location haven’t been announced yet, but if you sign up now, you will be one of the first to learn about it when it is announced.
Also, put December 4 and 5th on your calendar and save the date! Tune in to 24 Hours of Reality, which this year will highlight activism: inspiring us all to grow, fortify and build up our climate hope – to find and create solutions to the crisis we face.