ATTEND THE NEXT TRAINING
- Learn from our Founder and Chairman former US Vice President Al Gore, how to communicate the urgency of the climate crisis to people everywhere
- Learn how to combine science and solutions to engage audiences
- Learn to inspire others to take action
- Hear from subject experts in such fields as strategic communications, climate science, and grassroots organizing
- Network with global leaders and influencers
- Information about the training venue and accommodations will be emailed to participants after they have been accepted to the training
There is no cost to attend the training. However, participants must pay for their own travel and accommodations.
Former Vice President Al Gore is co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management. He is a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and a member of Apple, Inc.'s board of directors. Gore spends the majority of his time as chairman of The Climate Reality Project, a non-profit organization he founded that is focused on solutions for the global climate crisis.
Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the 45th Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years.
He is the author of the bestsellers Earth in the Balance, An Inconvenient Truth, The Assault on Reason, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, and most recently, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. He is the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary and was selected as the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for "informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change."
Former Vice President Gore was born on March 31, 1948, and resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
Ken Berlin is the President and CEO of The Climate Reality Project. Ken has devoted his career to leadership on environment, energy and climate change issues. A trusted advisor to businesses, non-profits and federal and state governments, Ken has been recognized as one of the top climate change attorneys in the world and has extensive expertise on international environmental issues ranging from clean energy to biodiversity. Most recently, Ken chaired the Skadden Arps Environmental and Climate Change practices and served as the Executive Vice-President and General Counsel for the Coalition for Green Capital. He was also a leader in establishing the Climate Speakers Network. In 2012, Ken served as Chair of the Obama Energy and Environment Team.
Pittsburgh Training Themes
Across the US, no city better captures life at ground zero of the climate crisis than Pittsburgh. Located in the heart of natural gas country and a longtime manufacturing hub, the city is still suffering the effects of decades of industrial pollution tainting water and dirtying the air. Meanwhile, fossil fuel infrastructure, including pipelines, fracking wells, and natural gas plants, continue to multiply and spread throughout the region, filling the air with dangerous emissions that choke citizens and warm the planet.
But if Pittsburgh exemplifies some of the worst and most dangerous consequences of the fossil fuel economy and climate crisis, it also offers a shining example of how cities can lead the nation on the frontlines of the fight for solutions. Visit Pittsburgh today and you’ll see how cities can harness the power of clean energy to open the door to a healthy, low-carbon future for their citizens tomorrow, while creating thousands of twenty-first century jobs for workers and a vibrant economy for businesses today.
Together, these factors make Pittsburgh the ideal location for The Climate Reality Project’s 36th Climate Reality Leadership Corps activist training, taking place on October 17—19. In Pittsburgh, we’ll train the next generation of citizen activists to lead the fight for climate solutions in their backyards and around the world. We’ll learn the science behind the crisis and how to engage, empower, and inspire audiences everywhere to join us in pushing policymakers to leave dirty fossil fuels and seize the potential of clean energy to power our lives safely and sustainably. And we’ll get to work, rolling up our sleeves on initiatives to help Pittsburgh’s home state take advantage of its extraordinary wind and solar potential.
We do not have the luxury of time. With temperatures rising and dangerous emissions polluting our air, we know we must change and leave fossil fuels like coal and natural gas behind. With the clean energy technologies we already see creating jobs and powering a thriving economy in Pittsburgh, we know we can. And with more committed citizens joining us by the day to fight for the future we want, we know we will.
Join us in Pittsburgh and together, we’ll make a sustainable future a reality.
From Pittsburgh to Paris
With just three words, Pittsburgh was thrust into the center of the global climate fight, as President Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, stating that he was elected to represent the citizens of “Pittsburgh, not Paris.”1 But if the president’s declaration was deeply misguided, the city’s response was inspiring. Mayor William Peduto quickly declared Pittsburgh’s support for the monumental Paris Agreement and pledged that Pittsburgh will be 100 percent renewable by 2035.2 The city’s commitment to climate action begins with the buildings that literally shape the city. Pittsburgh was at the forefront of the green building revolution and today boasts hundreds of LEED-certified developments. Today, the Pittsburgh 2030 District boasts 491 buildings in the downtown and Oakland neighborhoods that have pledged 50% reductions in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by 2030.3 Buildings are only part of the story, however. In addition to Pittsburgh reinventing itself as a national center for innovation, the surrouding region is exploring wind energy from turbine farms in the Laurel Highlands or Somerset County and installing solar panels on local facilities like parking garages.4 Pittsburgh is also a Department of Energy “Solar America City” and manages the Western PA Energy Consortium, a region-wide energy cost and consumption reduction program that buys 25 percent of its electricity needs from green sources.5 Pittsburgh is demonstrating the importance of local leadership, but we must remain vigilant to make the clean, green, healthy economy of the future, and we also have to make ourselves fully aware of the human impacts the fossil fuel economy is inflicting on the region today.
Healthy Climate, Healthy Communities
The health of the planet and health of communities around the globe are closely connected. Global warming pollution has impacted our communities profoundly in a number of ways putting our health and the health of our families at risk. From more extreme weather and degraded air and water quality, to changes in vector disease, the climate crisis is a public health crisis. Even so, solutions are available to curb carbon pollution and revolutionize the way we power our society, using clean and renewable energy. What’s more, these solutions also produce co-benefits that clean up our air, safeguard communities, improve our health, and promote energy independence.
Fossil fuels, meanwhile, have left a dangerous legacy that cities like Pittsburgh are still working to leave behind. Photographs from the 1940s show a city choked by smog and deadly pollution so thick, it blocked out the sun. While numerous environmental initiatives have helped improve Pittsburgh’s air and water quality, pollution still remains a major problem. As just a few indicators of many, the American Lung Association recently ranked the Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton metropolitan area the eighth worst of more than 200 metropolitan areas in the nation for long-term (annual) soot pollution; the 14th worst for short-term or daily soot pollution, and the 29th worst for ground level ozone.6
Sadly, these problems are not limited to the past. The expansion of oil and gas development has exacerbated not only the climate crisis, but also the pollution problem and the risks to human health that accompany it. Due to new drilling methods and the prolific Marcellus Shale, natural gas production in Pennsylvania has grown dramatically in recent years.7 Fracking in the state has been linked to a wide range of negative impacts, such as the release of toxic chemicals and wastes into the air, rivers, drinking water, and land.8
Along with these chemicals escaping into the community, a rapid increase in methane emissions from fracking operations in Pennsylvania is particularly troubling.9 In addition to being a greenhouse pollutant over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide over the short-term, methane leads to the formation of ground-level ozone (smog) and increases the risk for asthma attacks in children and pulmonary and heart disease in seniors and the disadvantaged.10
Landowners and local communities, often already disadvantaged, are also being dealt new worries with a massive uptick in gas pipeline projects in the region that regulators are greenlighting despite the increased pollution and climate change they will lock in. On top of that, residents and electricity ratepayers are shouldering the increased costs of new gas pipelines that only benefit utilities and big oil interests.
After years of inaction, and with the consequences of natural gas development so clear, Pennsylvania policymakers have the opportunity to lead the nation in jointly tackling this climate and public health threat by reining in fracking to reduce methane emissions (and also pursue measures to protect residents from oil and gas pollution in other forms). As the nation’s second largest natural gas-producing state, Pennsylvania has a real opportunity to create solutions that empower its people, and work for its environment and economy.11
A Just Economic Transition
To solve the climate crisis, the world must cut its reliance on fossil fuels and make the transition to renewable energy and a low-carbon economy. But this transition has to be a just and fair one. Our challenge as activists is to support the communities that depend on fossil fuels for their livelihoods through this shift so that the burden of change does not fall disproportionately on any one group and all citizens benefit from a clean energy future.
For two centuries, Pittsburgh made its name as a hub of heavy industry. Workers toiled in the city’s steel mills and miners in western Pennsylvania helped power America with coal mined from the “Pittsburgh coal bed,” the thickest and most extensive coal bed in the Appalachian Basin.12 However, as the region’s extractive and manufacturing industries steadily decline, and mines continue to close,13 affected communities are increasingly being left on their own, without jobs or opportunities. Further exacerbating the problem, the Trump administration’s proposed budget would eliminate funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal economic development agency designed to lift up these affected regions by providing retraining and other assistance.14
In stark contrast, the Pittsburgh region has been evolving from a center for manufacturing into a multi-industry hub for education, healthcare, technology, and sustainable development, creating new opportunities for workers and becoming the second-ranked large metro center for upward mobility. Renewable energy and energy efficiency have played a central role in this transition and today, statewide the sector now employs some 70,000 workers – more than coal, oil, and natural gas sectors combined.15 Plus, these jobs are growing at time when Allegheny County leads the state in clean energy jobs.16
The challenge for policymakers and activists alike is to ensure these same opportunities reach communities in the Keystone State where mining and resource extraction are not only bedrocks of the regional economy, but have supported generations and become central to local culture. Commitment to a just transition calls on activists to work for retraining programs that help workers develop highly-marketable skills and tap into the new sectors and industries in western Pennsylvania that continue to grow.
The Changing Climate
Annual precipitation has increased 10 percent in Pennsylvania over the past century, and is projected to continue to increase. The risk for extreme precipitation events and flooding will also increase,17 exacerbating the already dangerous and deadly episodes of flash floods that have hit western Pennsylvania.18
The number of days above 90 degrees Fahrenheit each year may increase from nearly a dozen now to over 30 days by 2050 – and over 70 days by the end of the century.19 Vulnerable communities, particularly those in urban areas, are likely to become increasingly impacted by excessive heat and decreased air quality as a result of warming.20 Water quality may be negatively impacted by increased runoff and increased risk of harmful algae blooms.21
The climate crisis is producing changes in the spread of vector diseases. For instance, the tick that carries Lyme disease is now found in every Pennsylvania county. There was a 25 percent increase in reported Lyme disease cases in 2014. Climate change is increasing the tick’s range and also the length of time (on a yearly basis) in which the tick feeds.22
Pennsylvania’s agriculture, including the dairy industry, is expected to be impacted by increased heat stress.23 Forests are the dominant land use in Pennsylvania. Climate change is expected to result in changes in suitable habitat for species. Those where Pennsylvania is currently at the southern extent of their suitable habitat will likely become increasingly stressed. A higher proportion of precipitation is expected to fall as rain as opposed to snow. This will have significant impacts on winter recreation such as downhill ski and snowboard resorts.24
Sea level rise is expected to increase the risk of flooding in the Delaware Estuary which extends into Philadelphia. For instance, under a medium-range sea level rise scenario, flooding events (storm surge) in the estuary exceeding 4 feet (above high tide line) is more likely than not by 2040. 25
Looking Forward to a Clean Energy Future
This June, the president made one thing clear: the fate of climate action in the US lies not with the federal government, but with citizens and communities willing to stand up and fight for what they believe in. For the people we love and the planet we share, it’s time to fight like our world depends on it. Because it does. Join us in Pittsburgh and together, we’ll take the next step forward to a safe and sustainable future for our precious home.
Q. How do I apply to attend the upcoming Climate Reality Leadership Corps training?
A. Applications are now closed for the next training, taking place in the Philippines. Sign up for more information on future trainings.
Q. How can I stay updated on upcoming Climate Reality Leaderships Corps trainings?
A. If you are unable to join us in the Philippines, you can sign up here for email updates about additional future trainings as information becomes available.
Q. What language will the training be held in?
A. All sessions and materials will be given in English
Q. How much does a training cost?
A. There is no fee to attend the training, but you will need to pay for your own travel and lodging. Click here for some ideas and tips on how to fundraise for your trip. During the training, The Climate Reality Project will provide morning coffee, lunch, light snacks, and all training materials.
Q. Do you offer scholarships?
A. Climate Reality typically offers a merit-base scholarship to 2-5 individuals at a 750-person training. We encourage applicants to seek funding elsewhere whenever possible. Attendees in the past have found funding and sponsorship through other organizations, businesses, or community groups. Click here for additional ideas and tips on how to fundraise for your trip.
Q. Do I need a visa to attend the training in Philippines?
A. If you are coming from outside of the Philippines, it is your responsibility to determine whether or not you will need a visa and, if so, obtain the visa to travel to the Philippines to attend the training. Check with your local Philippines embassy or consulate to determine whether or not you will need a visa to visit the Philippines. Once you are accepted to attend the training, Climate Reality will provide an official letter of invitation that can be used to apply for a visa for those who need one. We strongly recommend applying for your visa as soon as possible after receiving notification from Climate Reality that your application has been accepted.
Q. Can minors attend the training?
A. If a person between the ages of 13 and 18 applies and is accepted to attend the training, a parent or legal guardian must give permission for the minor to attend the training through the RSVP form, which will be sent by email upon acceptance. If a person under the age of 13 applies* and is accepted to attend the training, then a parent or legal guardian must accompany the minor to the training. Both parties (minor and parent/guardian) must be accepted to the program in order to attend the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training. Climate Reality cannot provide any assistance with childcare. Due to limited space, only accepted applicants are allowed to attend the training.
*Please note that by law, Climate Reality cannot collect personally identifiable information from children under 13 years of age online. Those who are under 13 years of age who wish to apply for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training should not submit any personally identifying information about themselves on the application and should have their parent or legal guardian contact our team at email@example.com
Q. My spouse or family member would like to travel with me. Can they attend the training?
A. Guests will not be allowed to attend the training sessions. However, there is no limitation on who can travel with you. Please understand that the majority of the three days will be occupied with the training and that your attendance at the whole training is mandatory.
Q. What is the address of the training location and where should I stay?
A. You are responsible for making your own hotel reservations at your own expense. We will send an accommodation recommendation email to all accepted and confirmed participants.
Q. What are the ten activities that I have to complete and where and when must I complete them by?
A. Within a year of completing the training with the Climate Reality Leadership Corps you are required to perform ten “Acts of Leadership.” Acts of Leadership come in a variety of forms and can be completed in your local community. Examples of Acts of Leadership include giving a presentation, writing a blog, writing a letter to the editor, organizing a film screening, organizing a climate change-related campaign, meeting with government leaders, and organizing a day of action. Most Acts of Leadership will come from giving presentations, including speaking events you arrange yourself and events arranged for you through requests that come in through Climate Reality. The Climate Reality Leadership Corps will offer as much support as possible but you will be responsible for seeking out opportunities to take action.
Q. Do I need to stay for the whole training?
A. Anyone who is applying to the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training must be able to commit to the full length of the training. We require attendees to be present for all three days of the training. You can expect the training to begin in the morning of the first day and end in the late afternoon or early evening of the third day. Specific start times for each training will be sent once your application has been accepted and you have confirmed your attendance.
Q. Can I complete the training online if I can’t make it to the location?
A. Unfortunately, we do not provide remote trainings at this time. All attendees must be present at the training location.
Q. Aren’t we producing additional CO2 in the atmosphere by flying out to the training?
A. As a global organization fighting climate change on a global scale, Climate Reality holds trainings across continents so people everywhere can join us in working to solve the climate crisis.
Climate Reality is aware that the trainings are distant from some attendees’ homes and that event-related air travel is a contributor to CO2 pollution. In addition to implementing an event-sustainability strategy to reduce the emissions from the event, we measure event-related emissions (including air travel) and neutralize those emissions via verifiable carbon offsets.
We have seen firsthand the value of in-person trainings and how the community grows from the connections Climate Reality Leaders make during the training days. After the in-person training, attendees are invited to connect, share, and engage in an online platform that reduces or eliminates the need for any further long-distance travel in their work as Climate Reality Leaders.
Q. How does the Climate Reality Project account for event-related emissions?
A. In planning our events, Climate Reality employs sustainable event practices in accordance with the event industry’s leading standards: ISO 20121 and APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards. We also implement a comprehensive plan to divert as much waste as possible from the event to recycling centers and local compost facilities. Once onsite energy conservation and emission reduction strategies are exhausted, Climate Reality selects verifiable carbon offset projects to cover any remaining emissions impacts. By supporting these projects, we are able to offset and neutralize all event-related emissions, including those from air travel, energy use, vehicle use, etc.
Do you have a question that is not addressed here? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 202-567-6829 and we'll respond as soon as possible.
OCTOBER 17-19 IN PITTSBURGH, PA
You know our climate is changing. You want to make a difference. We’ll show you how. Join us for a Climate Reality Leadership Corps training and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet and how you can use social media, powerful storytelling, and personal outreach to inspire audiences to take action. Give us three days. We’ll give you the tools to change the world.
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