For years Nashville, Tennessee, has been a magnet to millions of country music fans, and more recently Tennessee's capital has become a home not only for many musicians but also for numerous film actors, producers and other creative folk. Now the city that nurtured Andrew Jackson and spawned much of both the religious publishing industry and the country music industry may be becoming the climate protection capital of America.
Over the past few weeks Nashville, Tennessee has been the site of some remarkable meetings. Organized as The Climate Project, former Vice President Al Gore has organized sessions to train hundreds of people to present the climate change message featured in the film, An Inconvenient Truth, to audiences around America. These presenters, each of whom has paid their own way to Nashville from all 50 states and a number of foreign countries, now include business executives, ministers, educators, teachers, students, store workers, environmentalists, community leaders, and lots more. Each presenter pledges to give at least ten talks in the coming year, describing the threat to humanity and natural ecosystems. The set of a few hundred presenters trained last fall has already given as many talks as the former VP has given in the past decade and more; with the full set of 1000 presenters that will be trained, the message will soon be available to civic, community, school, religious, business, and other groups across the country.
Gore, who starred in this film that already ranks as one of the most successful documentaries ever at the box office, serves as the principal classroom instructor for the climate training sessions, joined by others who provide guidance on effective public speaking, offering ideas on potential solutions, answering questions that past audiences have asked the former VP, and how to get further information that is as reliable and well-reviewed as in the materials already available. To deal with those rare occasions when Gore needs backup in answering questions about the science of climate change, he invites a scientist to help him. For two of his January training sessions, he invited Dr. Michael MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Programs of the Climate Institute, to join him. Mike found the participants knowledgeable, enthusiastic, well qualified, and full of questions covering issues from the details of how temperatures are determined for thousands of years ago to the significance of the latest results mentioned in newspapers.
If you know a group that would like to have such a presentation, you are invited to go to TheClimateProject.org for more information and to pass along an invitation to a trained presenter from your area.
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