Programs are available from speakers trained by three different organizations active in researching and combating climate change and its effects:
- The Climate Reality Project / The Climate Reality Leadership Corps
- Climate Interactive / MIT Management Sustainability Initiative
- The Pachamama Alliance / Project Drawdown
Each group has different strengths and perspectives, reflected in their presentations.
Climate Reality Presentations
In 2006 former Vice President Al Gore made his historic climate film “An Inconvenient Truth.” He also formed The Climate Reality Project and has since personally trained thousands of climate speakers to deliver regularly updated climate presentations around the world.
Climate Reality presentations offer a solid scientific and practical base for understanding climate change, its impacts, and the accelerating pace of developing solutions. The presentations are appropriate for a range of audiences, from those just beginning to learn about the climate crisis to experienced activists, who often find they gain new knowledge as well as further motivation to pursue actions. Events provide excellent fundamental knowledge for further exploration of specific solutions.
Climate Reality sessions cover the basics of how greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming and the current and projected impacts of more severe storms, rising sea levels, flooding, increased droughts, frequent wildfires, health effects and climate refugees.
While illustrating the dire consequences of inaction, presentations emphasize the promise of the many existing solutions to the problem, if we can develop the necessary will to act quickly. Sessions end on a hopeful note and with a call to action.
“Several people have approached me to tell me how impressed they were with your presentation. I think that it was a perfect way to kick off our Greener Church Project.”
E. Kevin Conley
Climate Interactive Presentations
Scientists have long bemoaned the fact that their persistent warnings about global warming have not created the appropriate widespread will to act. Some have turned to more experiential teaching and learning.
Climate Interactive is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank that grew out of MIT Sloan in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Based on a long tradition of system dynamics modeling, their simulations and insights help people see connections, play out scenarios, and see for themselves what actually works to address climate change, inequity, and related issues.
In the workshop, participants propose climate solutions such as energy efficiency, carbon pricing, fossil fuel taxes, reducing deforestation, and carbon dioxide removal. The facilitator then tests these approaches in the cutting edge En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator, so participants can immediately see the impact on global temperature and other factors. The results are scientifically grounded and eye-opening.
En-ROADS has been used by members of the U.S. Congress, the UN Secretary-General’s Office, leading science educators, and many others worldwide. A predecessor model, C-ROADS, was similarly used in preparation for the Paris Climate Agreement by UN officials and President Obama’s climate staff.
En-Roads sessions can include a brief introduction to global warming but are not a substitute for the more comprehensive climate crisis background offered by the Climate Reality presentations. En-ROADS focuses primarily on solutions – how they work by themselves and in combination with other solutions, co-benefits that can be realized, and equity issues that some solutions raise.. The En-ROADS experience drives home the realization that there is no one “silver bullet,” but that “silver buckshot” in the form of many solutions is a better way to visualize how we can reach our climate goals.
“I think we all walked away with a better understanding of the complex energy and climate system and hope in our collective ability to drive a more sustainable future.”
Pachamama Alliance Presentations
The mission of the Pachamama Alliance is two-fold: (1) support the indigenous people of Ecuador to protect the Amazon Rainforest, and (2) change the “dream” of the modern world from one of always wanting more and more to one of sustainable harmony with this earth.
Awakening the Dreamer
How can we create an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, socially just human presence on this planet? This is the question we’ll ask ourselves as we participate in “Awakening the Dreamer.”
Awakening the Dreamer is a powerful experience, designed to wake us up and get us thinking about how we can make a difference. Everyone, everywhere, in every life circumstance, has a unique role to play in this most important of all endeavors.
We will start by examining where we are. What is our current relationship with Earth, with one another, with our own sense of purpose? Next, how did we get here? What has led to the human species being such a destructive force on Earth? Once we understand the root causes of our current situation, we can ask, what is possible now? What can we do to create a sustainable future for humanity while respecting the needs of the vast diversity of lifeforms on this planet? Finally, we can examine where we are in our lives and ask what role will we play in creating this just, sustainable future?
Together, we will watch poignant videos, reflect, journal, and discuss to awaken the dreamer within.
Introduction to Project Drawdown was developed by the Pachamama Alliance, in partnership with Paul Hawken, co-founder and executive director of Project Drawdown.
While many environmentalists orient themselves towards achieving “net zero emissions” of greenhouse gases, Project Drawdown sets a higher goal: actually reversing climate change by helping the world reach “drawdown”—the point where levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and actually start to go down.
Founded in 2014 by environmentalist Paul Hawken, Project Drawdown has used scientific modeling and measuring to define the 100 most substantive solutions to achieving drawdown. Many of these solutions are not only surprising, but also encouraging. Eighty of them are already in use and just need to be scaled up.
Drawdown challenges us to examine our lives, explore the various solutions to the climate crisis, and determine the unique contribution(s) we can make to preserve life on this planet. We can reverse global warming, and Project Drawdown helps us develop a blueprint for action.
“We see global warming not as an inevitability but as an invitation to build, innovate, and effect change, a pathway that awakens creativity, compassion, and genius. This is not a liberal agenda, nor is it a conservative one. This is the human agenda.”