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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

Katie Davis is a member of the CEC Partnership Council, as well as a trained presenter with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. Below she tells the story of her experience training with Al Gore. 

Katie will be presenting her Climate Reality presentation at 7 pm on Thursday, February 28 at the Santa Barbara Public Library.

Five years since he won an Academy Award for An Inconvenient Truth and a Nobel Prize for efforts to educate the world about global warming, what’s happened to Al Gore’s presentation and, indeed, actions to address the causes of climate change?

Along with 1,000 other Climate Leaders from 50 countries, I recently went through training in San Francisco on how to give the latest version of his presentation on climate change. The training included one 15-hour-marathon day with Al Gore that went from 8 am to 11 pm.

The latest incarnation of Gore’s presentation, entitled Climate Reality, is heavy on weather. What’s changed in the last five years is the willingness of scientists to point to the freaky storms, record heat waves, devastating droughts, super floods and massive fires and say definitively – yep, that’s us. Climate scientists used to be careful not to blame any one extreme weather event on global warming. But that’s changing. When we break 362 all-time high temperature records in the U.S. and no cold records – as we did in 2012 – it’s pretty clear we’re living with climate change right now.

Or as Gore put it, “It’s like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation.”

While global emissions have continued to rise, there are some signs of hope.  Renewable energy production has exceeded projections nationally, and California is ahead of the trend.  In 2011, 20% of California’s energy use was renewable.

Santa Barbara, with its remarkable record of environmental leadership and abundant sun, wind and waves, could play a leading role in showing the world it’s really possible to kick the fossil fuel habit.

Question is – are we up for the challenge?


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