Day 5 – Mar 3rd

Sorry I’m not writing this on the night of the fourth, but I was so exhausted after day 2 and 3 of training that I pretty much went right back to the hotel and did nothing!

Day 2 of training was just as awesome as day 1, except we also got breakfast because the program started at 8:30am.

We had a new MC for the day, Mario Molina, who lives in Boulder, CO, and he’s the international director for The Climate Reality Project.

At 9am, Al came back on the stage and around an hour going through his slide show again, but this time it was a shorter version, and instead of speaking about the data on the slides, he provided commentary on why he likes to include that particular slide in the short presentation and how it’s meant to impact the people who see it. It was really helpful because it gave context to the purpose of each slide. And he also told us which slides are transition slides — where we go from one main topic to another.

After Al’s presentation and a break, Al came back on stage with Don Henry (Director, TCRP Australia), Dr. Henry Pollack (Professor Emeritus, U of Michigan), and Dr. Kevin Trenberth (Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Centre for Atmospheric Research). Both Henry and Kevin were authors of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 — which means they helped to write the paper that won the Novel Peace Prize in 2007 by Al Gore and the IPCC.

intergovernmental_panel_on_climate_change_logo

Al lead the other three in a Q&A session based on the questions we submitted (by table) the night before. We were told that they went over the questions the night before and picked which ones they were going to answer. I think they tried to cover all the major topics asked about, but may have only referenced one question forbeach topic. I say this because they answered the question our table submitted (which was my question), but it was from another table (i.e. both us and this other table asked the same question).

The Q&A session was suppose to last 2 hours, but it went way over. Al didn’t want to NOT answer any of the questions they had decided to answer, so he kept going until they were done! (We didn’t mind.)

The only downside to going long on the Q&A was that lunch was cut short. In general that wasn’t bad, but there was a Lunch & Learn presentation I wanted to attend that I couldn’t because the lunch lines were so long I didn’t make it in time.

After lunch we had our first breakout session. I attended a session about the impacts of climate change on the western american landscape. And while it was focused on the US, a lot of the landscape in the western US is similar to the landscape in western Canada. I thought it was a very interesting presentation and I thought the 3 panelists did a great job explaining scientific stuff in a non-scientific way.

After the breakout session, starting at 2:30pm, we had a presentation by Ngiste Abebe, who is the Co-founder and COO of a company called Aulenor. This company is apparently a consulting company that helps clients with being influential and persuasive. She apparently work on Hilary Clinton’s campaign last year, but I didn’t catch if it was because she supported Hilary, or if it was just because she was hired by the campaign.

The purpose of her presentation was to give us tips and tricks on how to talk about climate change to other people. Her biggest suggestion was to make sure we started with a personal story. Apparently the telling of a personal story helps to make what you’re saying less controversial and more influential.

While Ngiste’s presentation was funny and had a lot of good tips, it ended weird. She had 1 hour and 45 minutes booked on the agenda, but she finished after 45 mins. I think that she thought she’d gone too short, but I think in reality the extra time was suppose to be for us to work on our personal stories. It was very confusing, but we did work on our personal stories.

Then, the best part of the day (if you ask me) … at 5:15pm Al came back on stage and introduced one of the directors and one of the producers of his new movie An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. (Great video from the new movie here. You can also watch the whole first movie, An Inconvenient Truth, on YouTube.) The three spend the next hour talking about the movie and why the first movie had such a massive impact. They also showed us an exclusive clip. (We were all hoping they’d show us the full movie, but I don’t think the distributor, Paramount, wanted that to happen. It was Paramount who actually selected the clip we saw.) Regardless of the length of the clip, it was awesome.

an-inconvenient-truth

The movie, by the way, comes out on July 28th, 2017. I’ll be talking about it a lot leading up to and after the release.

Finally it was the end of the day. There was a reception scheduled for 6:00pm, but by the time I got to the lobby, the line up for drinks was maybe 100 people long! Since I was tired, I opted to go back to my hotel instead and I missed the reception.

The only thing I was disappointed about is that our mentor wasn’t overly social. He did chat with each of us at some point during the training, but he did seem to focus on the people who were easier to talk to. He also sat at a different table for days 1 and 3. And he never suggested or organized any social-type events for our tables. In contrast, some tables had their ow FB groups in advance of training and actually got to know each other a little before they arrived in Denver. Some tables did a table photo at some point. And some tables did group dinners. Our table – nothing. Now, I know, I could have organized something myself, but to be honest, I wasn’t sure about the etiquette and I wasn’t sure what was ‘normal’ until the end of the training. And I’m sure it didn’t help that the folks at my table (including me) weren’t the overly social types. In fact, at least three members of our table kept disappearing everyday. I think they were doing work, which was fine, but I don’t like that they could be ‘certified’ like me, when I stayed for way more of the program than they did. Plus, because the large majority of folks at my table were from Montreal, there were times when they started talking french and I had no idea what they were saying!

Regardless, I did have fun and I got to meet some people and I’ll probably meet a lot more on Reality Hub, which is our online gathering area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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