The Climate Project

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The Climate Project (TCP) was founded by Nobel laureate Al Gore in June 2006 and is a non-profit organization dedicated to calling attention to what it believes are global problems associated with climate change. It is a grassroots environmental organization whose mission is to raise awareness to the issue of climate change by means of providing seminars, training and educational presentations worldwide. In March 2010 TCP merged with The Alliance for Climate Protection.

The Climate Project began operations in June 2006, based in Nashville, Tennessee, the home of Al Gore. The first training session was held in September 2006, and by April 2007 over 1,000 people had been trained by Gore personally. IPCC scientists (Michael McCracken and Henry Pollack) and other TCP trainers were selected from thousands of applications submitted through the TCP website. There are volunteers from each state in the United States, all having received the same training on how to present their own version of the slideshow featured in the Academy Award-winning film An Inconvenient Truth. The trainees also received training which included presentational skills as well as website communications with the TCP group. The volunteers, once trained, become TCP presenters who return to their communities to give presentations to a wide range of groups, using the slide show as a basis for customizing their presentation and as a means of educating their audience and disseminating information on this subject. Over the years since their initial training by TCP, most presenters have regularly received updates on the evolving science of climate change and many have taken part in additional training sessions organized jointly be TCP and organizations like the Union of Concerned Scientists.

TCP now has branches in nine countries worldwide, including the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, Latin America, India, Spain, Indonesia, and China. In addition to the people trained in the U.S., TCP has trained 200 people in the United Kingdom, 250 in Australia, 150 in India, 275 in Canada and 300 in China in June, 2010. TCP claims to have delivered more than 70,000 presentations, reaching an audience of over seven million people. The most recent training session in China has brought the total number of TCP presenters worldwide to 3,500. Presenter support is given after initial training in the task of reaching out to audiences across the country. After presenters return home, they are linked through The Climate Project website and interactive community, where a team of online communications and environmental specialists, materials for their audiences, assistance in organizing their speaking venues, and press releases are available. Presenters are given periodic training in the latest science and policy issues, including three training summits in 2009 and an international summit in 2010. TCP has a number of programs, partnerships and initiatives. One such initiative is Inconvenient Youth, launched on Earth Day 2010 and designed to train and organize young people to address climate change through engagement and leadership opportunities.


Criticism

The most common criticism is of Gore's sense of urgency in his presentation. Many of the critics are from conservative groups, but there are a few scientists who don't agree that global warming is as big of an issue as Gore claims it is. Some scientists feel that Gore has gone "beyond science", while others are quick to cite what they believe are inaccuracies in his assessment. On the other hand, there are also well known scientists who believe that it is already too late for humanity to reduce its production of CO2 enough to stave off the worst dangers of climate change. Another common criticism is that some sort of significant gap exits between Gore and the international scientific consensus represented by the IPCC. For those actually involved in the training, what is more obvious is how closely Gore works with the professional scientists of the IPCC to formulate his statements on the subject – a reality obviously recognized by the Nobel Peace Prize committee when it jointly awarded the prize to the IPCC scientists and Mr. Gore.


References

Wikipedia - The Climate Project

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