An INTERVIEW with Al Gore's Climate Project

In June 2006, Al Gore’s The Climate Project (TCP) began operations with the mission of increasing public awareness of the climate crisis at a grassroots level throughout the United States and abroad.

By April 2007, hundreds of public speakers across the U.S. had been trained to present a version of the slide show on which the Academy Award-winning film, “An Inconvenient Truth” is based.

We are grateful

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to have with us today David R. Fried, one of the original presenters to go through the TCP program. “David Fried is an outstanding example of the millions of Americans who have been energized by the call to action on the climate crisis,” said Al Gore.

algore.jpgFried and Gore, 2007

Since completing the program David has become a sought after speaker on global warming issues, and lectures throughout southern CA and anywhere the mission takes him.

David, thank you for agreeing to share your knowledge with the We The Change audience. Tell us what was entailed to become a TCP speaker?

Most of the training consisted of Al Gore going through slide by slide the full scope of material contained in the movie (and book) An Inconvenient Truth. The course provided us with a baseline of knowledge to speak intelligently about the most pressing issues in global warming. It was VERY intense.

How much of an environmental “crisis” are we really in?

You know, one of the things we talked about is how the symbol for crisis in Chinese also stands for “opportunity”. Meaning, no matter how bad it may seem right now we still have the ability to make the necessary changes! With that said, if left unchecked there is no doubt that certain aspects of the environment are in peril. The mass introduction of Carbon emissions over the last 30-50 years has caused dire environmental consequences. If we extrapolate current CO usage another 50 years (which is like the blink of an eye in terms the “earth” time) there is no telling the environmental damage that can incur. While the change seems slow and gradual for us in our short lifetimes, it is happening at nano-speed in the earth’s timeline!

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Can you briefly explain what you mean by “Carbon emissions” and how they affect global warming?

Many chemical compounds found in the Earth’s atmosphere act as “greenhouse gases.” These gases allow sunlight to enter the atmosphere freely and when sunlight strikes the Earth’s surface, some of it is reflected back towards space as infrared radiation (heat). Greenhouse gases absorb this infrared radiation and trap the heat in the atmosphere.

Assessments generally suggest that the Earth’s climate has warmed over the past century and that human activity affecting the atmosphere is likely an important driving factor. Some of the main sources of greenhouse gases due to human activity include burning of fossil fuels and deforestation leading to higher carbon dioxide concentrations. In the U.S., our greenhouse gas emissions come mostly from energy use.

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What 5 or 6 simple actions can EVERYONE do to begin offsetting damaging CO emissions?

1. Turn the lights off when leaving home—anybody can do that.
2. Shop with a cloth bag instead of using plastic bags (which use petroleum to produce)—anybody can do that.
3. RECYCLE—anybody can do that!
4. If you are a multiple car family, use the car with the best gas mileage—anybody can do that.
5. Turn your hot water heater down (or off) when not in use—anybody can do that.
6. Make sure you run full loads of laundry and in the dishwasher—anybody can do that.
7. Read my list of 76 things you can do and Watch (or read) An Inconvenient Truth!

These actions all come under the category of “intelligent efficiency” AND they save you money!

— Are there any beneficial web resources that you can recommend?

The Carbon Fund is a wonderful web resource that everyone should go to. On the site, you can determine what your personal carbon emissions are (based on how much you travel, where you live, etc…). And you can make contributions to offset these emissions, which I believe are tax-deductible (but check with your CPA). The funds go towards building more sustainable energy resources, and to the promotion of these practices.

Next, you can go to Arbor Day or American Forest websites and help plant trees or buy a piece of the rain forest to prevent it from being cut down. Another great thing to do is go the the EPO website and find a local energy supplier who uses green energy. Its easy and will do the environment a lot of good!

—What are the next steps for The Climate Project?

You can go to The Climate Project website and apply to become a presenter, or you can request a presenter (like me) to speak for your organization. The heart of The Climate Project lies in the commitment, dedication and passion of TCP presenters to educate, encourage and increase dialogue about the climate crisis and its solutions. SO getting more people involved is the next step for TCP, and the most crucial component of making global change!

David thank you for being here today, it has been enlightening. When it comes to the global warming issue, we really ARE the change.

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3 Responses to “An INTERVIEW with Al Gore's Climate Project”

  1. ZHereford says:

    If everyone becomes more aware and makes even the small changes it will help immensely! Good article.

  2. Todd says:

    Thanks Z– and very true. The power of global change lies within our daily actions!

  3. Scott Peterson says:

    NASA has now silently released corrected figures
    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt, and the changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as record-breaking) moves to second place. 1921 takes third. In
    fact, 5 of the 10 warmest years on record now all occur before World War II. Anthony Watts has put the new data in chart form, along with a more detailed summary of the events.
    http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/08/1998_no_longer_the_hottest_yea.html

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