Well, it’s late Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting in the Delta lounge waiting for my flight home to Atlanta. Today was the last day of Al Gore’s 3-day Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Minneapolis. The former Vice President of the United States was the principal, passionate preacher to a congregation of a thousand soon-to-be climate reality leader activists. At times I felt like we were in an old-fashioned Revival Meeting. Each of us training to be a member of the latest cadre of leaders of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. I proudly am one and will wear my green ring as proof of completion of the training.
The former Vice President’s involvement was constant throughout the sessions. His performances were simply extraordinary – not merely informative, but visionary, passionate, heartfelt, emotional, imploring, beseeching and probably a host of other superlative adjectives. He is utterly committed to resolving the climate crisis. He has unleashed a cadre of surrogates dedicated to educating the public that the climate crisis is the existential issue of our generation and those to come AND to act on that commitment to drive the local, state, and national policies and programs that will affect the changes necessary.
A joint winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) for (per the Nobel Committee) his “efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”
Al Gore is, arguably, the individual most responsible for changing the public’s perception of the changing climate from global warming to climate crisis.
The climate crisis is an existential threat to our way of life; if you don’t believe me then believe the 97+% of legitimate climate scientists who have written and published the details about the nature of the global crisis and, further, that it is anthropogenic, meaning that it is man-made. If you don’t believe them, look out the window. The weather is becoming freakish. The Guardian (UK) reported on August 2nd, that “the record-breaking heatwave that roasted Europe last month was a one-in-a-thousand year event made up to 100 times more likely by human-driven climate change, scientists have calculated”. The sheer volume of daily reports describing the climate crisis is overwhelming and is having serious psychological effects on many of those working in the field. I wrote a previous blog piece about this.
Here’s bit of irony. That Nobel Laureate is the man most responsible for training the thousands of climate activists who are driving policies and solutions that could possibly save important parts of the state of Florida. Much of the Florida coastline is in a precarious position with respect to sea level rise. Without a solution to the climate crisis, south Florida will be returning to the sea and with it the wealth of the millions of people who purchased real estate despite the overwhelming evidence that the climate crisis is causing sea levels to rise. It’s only a matter of time before insurance becomes prohibitively expensive if obtainable at all.
Think about this for a minute. What would eight years of President Al Gore have looked like rather than eight years of George W Bush. Of course, we can’t predict with certainty what would have happened, but we can surmise based on our knowledge of the players who were in power. Iraq War – not likely. Gore likely wouldn’t have sought revenge on Saddam for Daddy Bush. In other words, the Florida of brother Jeb challenging the legitimacy of ballots exhibiting hanging chads changed the course of modern American and world history. Imagine trillions of dollars spent on investments in education, social reform, technology and infrastructure rather than wasted on unnecessary foreign wars. Imagine thousands of young men and women at home with their families, enjoying their lives, raising families, or teaching their kids to hit a baseball, rather than lying in graves or grievously wounded.
Such was the effect of our training and my impressions of it. I highly recommend it to any reader of this blog. As I listened to Mr Gore’s presentations, I daydreamed about the country and world we deserved and should have had.