Why 24 Hours of Reality Matters More than Ever in 2020
On October 10-11, we’re organizing 24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to the Future, a day that will mobilize a worldwide conversation on the future we want and how we get there, held in partnership with TED Countdown.
Climate Reality Leader volunteers personally trained by former Vice President Al Gore will lead virtual presentations all around the world. Presentations about the truth of the climate crisis, what it means for us in our everyday lives, and the solutions already in our hands.
One full day of the world coming together to talk about the crisis that threatens us all – and then take action.
This is the ninth year Climate Reality and Vice President Gore have presented 24 Hours of Reality.
In 2011, Climate Reality began producing the award-winning 24 Hours of Reality broadcast to sound the alarm on the climate crisis and spotlight the solutions to solve it. Reaching millions of people in countries all around the world, previous 24-hour live-streamed broadcasts explored different sides of both the crisis and the movement for solutions.
Last year, we changed things up, taking the action from the screen to communities around the world, allowing our Climate Reality Leaders to collectively lead a global conversation about climate action. The result: More than 1,500 Leaders delivered over 2,000 presentations across 82 countries, on all seven continents (yes, including Antarctica!), and in all 50 US states, reaching thousands upon thousands of individuals and advancing bold policy solutions to the climate crisis.
For this year’s event, 24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to the Future, owing largely to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there’s a new virtual twist to last year’s winning formula. For 24 straight hours, Climate Reality Leader activists across the planet will lead digital presentations and conversations, culminating in a special presentation from Vice President Gore and activists on the front lines of the climate fight.
And this year’s event could not come at a more critical hour – in America and around the world. Here’s why.
The Climate Crisis is a Justice Crisis
The fact is, climate change will make poor people poorer – and more people poor. At the same time, the dirty fossil fuels driving climate change are already poisoning the air and water that so many low-income families and communities of color breathe and drink every day.
We know that as the climate crisis deepens, those who suffer the most will inevitably be these same communities, who for decades have seen their dreams deferred by neglect and systemic racism.
So it’s no secret that the climate crisis is also a justice crisis. And that there cannot be climate justice without racial justice.
24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to the Future will speak to this moment with presentations set to explore the historic conjunction of climate change, COVID-19, and structural racism that not only threatens our lives and deepest values, but opens the door to truly transformative change.
Climate Change Remains an Existential Threat
We recognize that for many, the threat of climate change has taken a back seat for the last several months, as people deal with immediate priorities like the health of their families, new economic anxiety, and massive disruptions to everything we knew as normal.
But as communities begin the long process of recovery – and with important elections just around the corner – it’s important to remember that the existential threat posed by the climate crisis never left us.
Just this year, we’ve seen countless headlines like these:
- California Wildfires Reach Historic Scale and Are Still Growing
- A Historic Heat Wave Roasts Siberia
- Atlantic Hurricane Season on Pace to Be One of The Worst in Recorded History
- A Long, Hot Summer Worsened Drought Conditions Across the US
Yet, even as Baghdad and Damascus posted record-high temperatures and the American Southwest’s Death Valley boiled at a staggering 130 degrees Fahrenheit, the fossil fuel industry and its friends in the Trump Administration kept their eyes on the prize, from their ongoing efforts to unwind pretty much every environmental regulation to seeing 1.6 million acres in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge opened up to oil and gas drilling – all in the middle of a pandemic, don’t forget!
The point is this: Ours is a chaotic world, one where it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the latest horror. It’s understandable and easy to lose sight of the fact that lurking in the shadows of every new crisis is ever-present climate change. But it’s not going anywhere on its own. Not with deniers ready and waiting to spread falsehoods and buy their ways into the halls of power.
Our challenge now is to carry the gravity of the COVID pandemic and the movement for racial justice with us while continuing our work to solve the climate crisis and create a truly just and healthy future for all. Learn how during Countdown to the Future.
Staying Connected is Vital Right Now
Here at Climate Reality, we face the same question as everyone else: How can you continue with business as usual with the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest sweeping the world?
The truth is, we can’t. And we’re not.
But one thing we can do is put this time of division and physical separation to good use – by bringing people together… virtually.
So that’s what we’re doing with 24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to the Future.
If you’re ready to learn more about what’s next for the climate movement – and how you can keep up the good fight at this difficult time – our Climate Reality Leaders are here to help you understand the challenge we face and how together we can still make a difference.
Even as we’re all continuing to do our part to fight for racial justice and stop the spread of this virus, there’s still plenty you can do to advocate for better, healthier, more just and sustainable tomorrow.
You don’t need a cape to help save the world. Studies have shown that an act as simple as bringing your social circle (think friends, family, the man or woman at the next cubicle over) together to talk about the climate crisis can jumpstart a feedback loop leading to greater awareness and concern.
And let’s face it, we could all use a little bit of hopeful connection right about now. That starts with being part of a 24 Hours of Reality presentation.
If Not Now, When?
With more people waking up to the reality of the crisis every day, we’re building a movement. One conversation at a time.
Beginning at 4 PM ET on October 10, Climate Reality Leaders across the Earth will host 24 hours of virtual presentations and discussions exploring how the climate crisis, a global pandemic, and racial injustice together shape our moment and presenting a path forward to the just and sustainable future we want.
Free and open to audiences everywhere, 24 Hours of Reality: Countdown to the Future invites people of all ages and walks of life to join a planet-wide dialogue on the existential threats and historic opportunities that define our moment, looking ahead to a just and sustainable future and learning what we can all do to make it a reality.