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Wanted: The Next Generation of Climate Leaders

The worldScientists recently took Mother Earth’s temperature much as you would to determine if someone is ill. In a recent State of The climate report, US Scientists determined she is not well and getting sicker. Her oceans are heating up and rising. Her snowcapped glaciers are melting. Carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have all reached record levels in the atmosphere.  She is very hot and getting hotter. What this green goddess needs is a group of leaders to the rescue!

The facts in the report are quite disconcerting. In 2014, the earth had the highest annual global surface temperature in at least 135 years of modern record keeping. The oceans blanketing seventy percent of her surface are absorbing much of that heat. The report found that the globally-averaged sea surface temperature (SST) was the highest on record. Arctic minimum sea ice extent was the sixth lowest since satellite records began in 1979 causing rising oceans. As we have all experienced, precipitation was quite variable across the globe with areas of massive flooding and severe droughts. Storms are becoming more severe and more frequent.  The consequences of these warmer ocean and land temperatures will be felt for centuries to come, even if we immediately implement efforts to cut the carbon emissions.

California DroughtIn 2006 Al Gore, former US Vice President and Nobel Laureate, catapulted this climate crisis front and center in his film, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Later that same year, he founded The Climate Reality Project to take the conversation forward and turn awareness into action. The Climate Reality Project is a diverse group of passionate individuals who have come together to help solve the greatest challenge of our time. They are cultural leaders, marketers, organizers, scientists, storytellers and more, and they’re committed to building a better future together.

Their mission is to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.
Climate leaders exist everywhere and recently several UNFI Canada associates had the opportunity to meet Al Gore and hear about his project to engage people around the world in the conversation about clean and sustainable energy. When it seemed that all hope had been lost in our battle to rescue Mother Earth, future UNFI climate leaders had an opportunity to hear about what brought Al Gore to this work. They discovered what he is seeing and hearing, which gives him hope and confidence that we are at a step-change moment, turning toward sustainable practices in ever-increasing numbers.

In the words of UNFI Canada’s associate Richard Lee:

“Attending the climate change summit event was a truly inspiring experience. The highlight of the night was having the opportunity to meet with Al Gore, the former Vice President of the United States of America. Mr. Gore presented an insightful speech outlining his journey to success and various life experiences that eventually led him down the path to become a true champion in the global climate change initiative. Along with Mr. Gore, there were a few other advocates for change who shared their experiences and passion for the subject. What inspired me the most was their unwavering dedication to commit themselves to a cause that does not just benefit them individually, but benefits humanity and contributes towards building a better tomorrow. This event made me realize that one does not need to be an environmental specialist to be an agent for change. But rather there were people from all walks of life, who were strong advocates of the climate change initiative and they each spoke of the turning point in their lives, what they refer to as the “A-Ha” moment, when they realized the importance of this subject and the responsibility we all carry to protect our world for generations to come. It is simply a matter of educating people to understand the reality of our deteriorating climate, so that we all do our part to act as agents of change in this climate reality project.”

The world in our handsThe reports are in, 97% of scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. If still you don’t believe them, just look outside at the unruly and wanton ways of the weather. The warming climate of our Mother Earth needs advocates and champions of change.

Won’t you be a change agent and help slow down the grave consequences our activities are having on the planet? It only takes one “A-Ha” moment to begin spreading the word and taking action.

Mother Earth and her children need you now more than ever.


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