Gore training team to talk about warming | VailDaily.com

Gore training team to talk about warming

Seth T. Moore
Vail, CO Colorado

BRECKENRIDGE ” Most people have at least heard about Al Gore’s global warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” What people may not know is Gore has organized a group of “climate change messengers” to deliver his message throughout the U.S. ” and eventually the world.

Part-time Breckenridge resident Jeff Hart is now one of 1,000 people certified to deliver a modified version of Gore’s award-winning presentation.

“Thousands upon thousands applied and I was one of the fortunate to get chosen,” he said.

Compelled by the film, Hart assembled his own presentation and began giving it the week after seeing the film, using his own money and free time.

“I was so moved by it,” he said. “I have never seen so much relevant material put together so effectively.”

“An Inconvenient Truth,” which has earned more than $45 million to date, spawned the Climate Project, a grassroots organization created to train and recruit enthusiastic people to spread the message of global warming.

Hart attended the first two-day training seminar in Nashville, Tenn., in early January. A relatively small group trained with a team of scientists, educators and Gore.

Day 1 of the conference focused on the slide show presentation and the science behind it. The second day put more attention on delivering the presentation and communicating the message effectively, Hart said.

“It was an extraordinary opportunity,” he said. “I am committed to giving this slide show and educating as many people as possible.”

Working with Gore was great, but the pervasive perception of him is contrary to popular belief, Hart said.

“He is very different than what people think of him,” he said. “He is very personable, knowledgeable, engaging and emotional about this issue.”

Fifteen years of experience evaluating government environmental programs for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given Hart a passion for this issue.

“Our way of life is (threatened) and perhaps the existence of our species,” he said. “I can’t think of anything more important.”

The most startling fact of the entire debate is the rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, Hart said.

“In 650,000 years the readings have never been above 300 parts per million,” he said. “Today it is at 380. It’s happening so quickly.”

Even though the trend may seem irreversible, it’s not too late to make a difference, Hart said.

“We are not at the point of no return,” Hart said. “We can stop contributing to the problem.”

Global warming is a vast issue, but Summit County residents can still have an impact on a local level by lobbying local leaders to create more renewable energy sources or by switching to wind-powered energy at home, Hart said.

“I think people are beginning to understand this is a moral issue and hopefully people are starting to realize we can’t continue the status quo,” Hart warned.

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