MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Aerial images taken over Greenland this week reveal a massive glacial ice melt. It is the result of the North Atlantic’s record-breaking heatwave.

But the melting glaciers also explains the large crowd gathered inside the Minneapolis Convention Center on Friday, for the start of a three-day conference.

They’re here to be trained as climate activists and learn about global climate change from former Vice President Al Gore, who’s made it his mission.

“This began to transform the way we think about our home planet,” Gore said.

The Climate Reality Project was created by Gore in 2006. Walking on stage under large video screens the former vice president spoke much like a science professor. He uses beautiful images of earth taken by NASA astronauts to reveal a growing threat to the delicate planet. Overlaying those slides with weather facts, he is sounding the alarm on the damage done by greenhouse gasses.

In one slide from his presentation, Gore explained, “The amount of heat energy trapped every day is the equivalent of 500,000 Hiroshima class atomic bombs exploding every day.”

More than 1,100 climate activists took part in the 42nd Reality Project training. The goal is to teach participants ways to raise awareness and offer effective climate change solutions.
But perhaps, most importantly, they will be taught how best to drive action in the communities in which each activist will return to.

Actor Tim Guinee, is mentoring trainees.

“I’m an actor, but other people are politicians and scientists, others dishwashers and teachers, we need everybody,” Guinee said.

People like recent Hopkins High school graduate Lia Harel are attending the three-day conference, vowing to do their part to convince others about the perils of climate change.

“I think it’s one person talking to another one person, talking to another one person, and that’s how you make a difference,” Harel said.

One discussion at a time, they’re tackling a threat that’s been decades in the making.

Bill Hudson