As mentioned in last month’s Parvati Magazine, former US Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project recently held a Climate Reality Leadership Training course in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – a key state for the US primaries as well as one with significant implementation of renewable energy. Now, it’s Canada’s turn. In Toronto on July 9 and 10, Al Gore will teach a cohort of leaders and environmentalists in the only Climate Reality Leadership course to take place in Canada this year, and the third of four taking place in the world in 2015.
According to the Climate Reality website, this project “has trained more than 7,500 Climate Reality Leaders from 125 countries, including recent trainings held in New Delhi, Istanbul, Chicago, Johannesburg, Rio de Janeiro and Melbourne.”
Canada is a particularly key place to hold this training, because the federal government of the day has been strongly resistant to any environmental measures that could harm business for the oil industry. The tar sands in Alberta are a gaping and toxic black wound on the Canadian landscape with ramifications that will unfold for decades or even centuries to come, yet the political will is not in place to stop attempting to extract oil there.
Canada’s oceans have oil reserves beneath their seabeds that are coveted by big oil companies. Seismic testing to locate these reserves off the eastern Arctic coast of Nunavut was recently paused by the consortium of companies planning to go ahead with it, but this consortium is still planning to carry out a seismic survey of the seabed off the coast of Labrador. Yet, we know that if we are to stop climate change from going into an unstoppable spiral, we must leave 80% of the world’s oil reserves in the ground, undrilled. And we know that seismic testing is deeply traumatic and harmful to marine life.
With an election coming this fall in Canada, it is important to have strong and educated voices speaking out for the environment, compelling politicians to add real environmental planks to their platforms and inspiring voters to choose candidates who know the true bottom line is a healthy world. So the Climate Reality Leadership Training in Canada comes at a significant time.
As this edition of Parvati Magazine goes to press, hours remain in the window to apply to join the Climate Reality Leadership Training in Toronto. Parvati.org, with its mandate to protect the Arctic Ocean and stop seismic testing, will be there in force with a number of members and volunteers, and will be participating in the Day of Action to follow. We strongly encourage you to apply to the training if you read this article in time for the June 18 deadline. If not, one more Climate Reality Leadership Training is taking place this year, September 28-30 in Miami. This still gives you time to get up to speed before the elections in Canada and the primaries in the US.
Darcy Belanger, Director of Strategic Initiatives for parvati.org, attended the training in Iowa. Of his experience, he says, “Mr. Gore has a tremendous ability to clearly communicate the urgent risks of climate change, while inspiring a vision for a future in which humanity is able to avoid a global climatic catastrophe through responsible environmental policy, profitable innovations in industry and business, and adoption of the green technologies available to us now.”