Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training by Anna Ungarino

Did you know that this is the 40th consecutive year documented with above average temperatures, and that sixteen out of the seventeen hottest years on record have been these past sixteen years? This is just one of the things I learned at the Climate Reality Project Leadership Corps Training.

 

In June of this year, President Donald Trump initiated the US withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Agreement–a global plan to reduce climate change–saying that he represented Pittsburgh, in spite of President Trump’s decision, Pittsburgh is making improvements and is committed to promoting and improving our city through clean energy.

 

The objective of the The Climate Reality Project is to bring people from all over to discuss and get informed about our planet and to give us steps we can take personally to change the world and inspire others. The program creates and helps people become leaders in their communities and initiate change. More than thousand people were at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to be the leaders and create change.

 

The event was environmentally friendly, including all vegetarian options for lunch and hosted in the clean energy designed Convention Center. The president of The Project, Ken Berlin, and former US vice president Al Gore, Founder and Chairman, were present. It was refreshing to be surrounded by people who were passionate about our planet all day.

 

Participants were able to hear a panel of men and women from different professions talk about what The Project means to them, and why they are serious about it. The meeting was informative and engaging. Attendees learned about things like fracking, greenhouse gases, and fossil fuels. The speakers were passionate and helpful to the attendees who heard different viewpoints on how we must tackle climate change. The attendees heard many different voices, each with new and exciting ideas to present. Speakers encouraged participants to discuss their ideas and connect with others. I’m certain that future world changers were sitting in that room.

The attendees learned about why climate change is a personal responsibility, why it occurs, and how we can help.

 

Hearing former vice president Al Gore speak was one of the highlights of the event for those attending. He is extremely educated on the topic, informed and optimistic. Al Gore told attendees about how our world is changing, why it is changing, and answered the questions, “Can we do it?” and “Will we do it?”. The stories he told attendees and the statistics he presented were shocking. The changes happening to our planet can not be overlooked.

 

Al Gore mentioned how the city of Pittsburgh has taken a positive turn, and how he admires the city’s plan for a greener future and the city’s desire to thrive and make improvements. Pittsburgh’s mayor, Bill Peduto, even wants the city to be 100% renewable by 2035. The city will continue to follow through with the Paris Agreement. Pittsburgh’s future is looking bright, and this event confirmed the severity and urgency of climate change, and now more than a thousand people are informed and ready to speak on the topic of climate change.

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