San Francisco — I got up this morning at 4:14 a.m. so I could catch the shuttle to the San Francisco Airport to return to Indianapolis. I don’t know the last time I woke up so early, and it narrowly misses the 4:45 a.m. wake up call I had in Indy at the beginning of this journey.
I don’t like getting up early, especially not this early, so why am I acting against my nature?
Because of nature, that’s why.
This week, I had the opportunity to take the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training, and if you’re reading this you might already have seen a preview about the experience, and that I am making myself available to share what I’ve learned.
The Climate Reality Project is the organization that grew out of Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth documentary (though Gore himself had been presenting some version of this harrowing power point for decades), and in their current incarnation, the good folks there are routinely training Climate Reality Leaders to learn about the project, ingest the power point presentation, then take it back to their home towns to share — with anyone who wants it.
One thousand people gathered from around the world to take the training. I met people from Indonesia, India, Iceland, Canada, Colombia… in all, 57 countries were represented. Forty-six states were represented as well — including a half dozen or so from Indiana.
Three days of intense training later, and some visits to old friends, I am heading home to process what I learned, and start to craft my own, localized version of this power point.
Ideally, you’ll see it sometime this year. Ideally, you’ll help me, by adding your feedback, sharing your experience of climate change, how it has altered the landscape of your backyard, your work, your life. How it has impacted your thoughts about consumption, or about having children or grandchildren.
One thing became very clear from this conference/training. It is time to move on from the debate over climate change. The science gets stronger every day, and, sadly, the evidence gets more immediate, most obviously the extreme weather we’ve been experiencing, especially this summer’s drought.
Climate change is real. It’s not something you believe in or don’t believe in. We can disagree about tactics to confront it, we can dispute the urgency, but we need to move past the skepticism.
And it will take all of us to accomplish this.
I’ll help you all I can.
The Climate Reality Project people gave me lots of tools to do so, and they will be rolling out more in the coming weeks, which I will share with you.
Mostly, we need to learn from each other how to think and talk about this next stage, the stage of moving on, the stage of healing our relationship to nature.
There are personal habits to change, there is politics in which to engage, there is community action to take — and there is no time to waste.
I’ll do my part. I’ll even get up early in the morning.