Climate Reality Leadership Corps training by Al Gore in Chicago

July 16, 2013 | 8:55 pm |

The following is a guest post by activist Tom Henriksson You can find the original post here.

At the end of July, I will participate in the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Chicago. 

Climate Leaders are activists who have taken part in this leadership and communications training led by former Vice President Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project. Climate Leaders are expected to perform ten acts of leadership, which could include organising an event, speaking at a seminar or writing a column in a newspaper.

I’m thrilled and happy for the opportunity to attend the training, join the Corps and keep volunteering in the field of climate change. My travel wouldn’t be possible without help from supporters, and to them I want to express my most sincere gratitude.

I remember very well watching Al Gore’s televised Nobel speech in 2007. That was the year when media interest in climate change probably peaked (unfortunately, global emissions did not). And how he said: “There’s an old African proverb that says ‘If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ We have to go far — quickly”, summarising pretty much what our fight to prevent a dangerous climate change should be all about: independent action, initiative and leadership but also cooperation, laws and governance.

What was even more unforgettable was the calm, friendly and warm way he delivered the message. While I’m not saying there isn’t a good reason to be angry, sometimes climate communication tends to be depressingly negative or burdened by a certain lecturing activist tone. The other option you encounter often these days is the business-style hype on cleantech and cool eco-startups which may sound more optimistic but despite the welcome focus on solutions risks being unauthentic and shallow. Al Gore’s style, as I see it, is a third way combining friendliness to a deep realisation of the climate reality we face.

Fully aware of and frustrated by the emissions the flight travel will cause, I’m looking for alternatives for offsetting. I will try to do something useful in my free-time as well, and have planned to make visits and interviews related to climate change on the East Coast before the start of the training.