Becoming a Climate Reality Leader
In September 2015, over a thousand scientists, non-profits, civil servants, and policy makers gathered in Miami, Florida for a three-day Climate Reality Leadership Corp training workshop taught by former U.S Vice President Al Gore.
Al Gore founded the Climate Reality Project in 2006, shortly after the release of his infamous documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Charged with a mission to "catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis," the Climate Reality Project holds free trainings all over the globe, transforming concerned citizens into Climate Reality Leaders working to solve the climate crisis.
The Climate Reality Leadership Corp training took place in Miami, Florida from September 26 – 28 and covered topics such as the latest climate change science, best practices in public speaking and connecting with your audience, communication strategies, leadership skills, and approaches to community outreach and organizing.
Led by Climate Reality Project founder and Chairman Al Gore, the training also featured Climate Reality Project experts, scientists, and VIPs such as Florida Senator Bill Nelson, Telemundo Network journalist Vanessa Hauc, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, TV host Philippe Cousteau, and MSNBC host Chris Hayes.
"14/15 hottest years on record have occurred since the year 2000 and 2015 is on track to be the hottest year ever recorded," Gore warned in his opening remarks. "The pattern is pretty clear... We need a massive, global message to wake up the world about climate change. Solving the climate crisis is within our grasp, but we need people like you to stand up and act."
A small contingent of students and alumni from the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability attended the training to become certified climate leaders. As a Climate Reality Leader (CRL), Estevan Baza, Trista Brophy, Rebecca David, Holly Prievo, Brian Pullen, Victor Florez, Melissa Wolfe, and Steffanie Agerkop each committed to complete ten "Acts of Leadership" in the next year. Acts of Leadership can range from giving a climate change presentation or organizing an educational film screening to writing a blog or meeting with government leaders. Leaders are also privy to Al Gore's personal slide presentations, which can be used during their civic leadership presentations.
"It is important to be a climate leader because we are all in this boat together," said PCGS alumna Rebecca David. "Being able to discuss the facts and potential solutions will all people from all walks of life is essential to the next chapter we're creating. As a Patel Alumni I wanted to take part in this opportunity to continue the discussion of sustainability and climate change."