Al Gore trains FilAm climate leaders

Michaela Romulo
Filipino Americans join a new batch of climate leadership trainees to promote the issue of climate change

 Photo from The Climate Reality Project Facebook page

CHICAGO, USA – A non-profit environmental organiztion headed by Al Gore brought together climate advocates from all over the world to discuss ways to increase awareness of the climate change issue. 

The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) – a non profit aimed to spark global action against climate change through grass root engagement – trained the newest batch of climate leaders at the 23rd Leadership Corps training in Chicago last July 30 to August 1, 2013.

The global confab brought in participants from all the 50 states and 77 countries around the world. Among the attendees were 6 Filipino-Americans.

They were New York based UN news correspondent Tonie Marie Bacala and peace worker Maria Marasigan; Engineer Marc Caratao D.Mgt., and sustainable management students Nicole Cruz and Ny-Ann Nolasco from California; and engineer Francisco Alverez ME, PME from Chicago.

An inconvenient truth

The former US vice president delivered an updated presentation of his award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth

The future climate leaders were also trained in communication skills and social media, and presented with the latest science on climate change by Dr. Michael MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs from the Climate Institute and Dr. Henry Pollack, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics from the University of Michigan. 

FilAms for climate change

Rodne Galicha, TCRP Philippines district manager expressed pride at the participation of the 6 Filipino Americans. 

“We are glad that Filipinos based in the United States have been trained to spread the reality of the climate crisis,” said Galicha.

“[We’re] hoping that they would be able to speak up and win the conversation on extreme weather brought about by dirty energy which has caused series of disasters in the Philippines.” 

Galicha added the training was also a call to action to support climate change programs and legislations being promoted in the United States.

“We must continue educating our Filipino Families about the plight of our people back home, why are they suffering the effects of climate change and how are we able to extend assistance which is long term and invest in clean and green businesses in local communities where we come from,” said FilAm climate leader, Francisco Alverez. 

Localizing issues of climate change

TCRP Philippines works to localize the context and information on Gore’s film in order for Filipinos to understand the science behind climate change.

“We need to empower them, mobilize and organize themselves and collectively act on doable solutions for adaptation and mitigation,” said Galicha. 

The effects of climate change in the Philippines are evident in the destruction brought about by natural disasters.

Yet Galicha warns that the worst is yet to come if the public fails to address pressing issues such as mining, coal-fired power plants, and the lack of clean energy alternatives.

TCRP Philippines has brought climate change caravans that educate and promote action on climate change to schools and universities in Metro Manila and Cebu. The caravans aim to make students understand the science behind climate change and simplify it in order for them to initiate these conversations at home.

By September they plan to bring the caravans to Bacolod and by the end of the year to Mindanao. – Rappler.com 

For more information on The Climate Reality Project visit their website at http://climaterealityproject.org/

You can connect with TCRP Philippines through their Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/climatereality.ph/

For more information on climate change visit https://www.realitydrop.org/

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