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Environmental activist looks to renew hope for the battle

Environmental activist looks to renew hope for the battle
Elmira’s Sandra Bray will be taking part in The Climate Reality Project, an initiative launched by former U.S. vice president Al Gore. The event runs Oct. 17-19 in Pittsburgh. [Ali Wilson / The Observer]
Environmental activist looks to renew hope for the battle
Elmira’s Sandra Bray will be taking part in The Climate Reality Project, an initiative launched by former U.S. vice president Al Gore. The event runs Oct. 17-19 in Pittsburgh. [Ali Wilson / The Observer]
When environmental activists gather in Pittsburgh later this month for an Al Gore-led training session, Elmira’s Sandra Bray will be among their numbers.

Created and led by Gore, the Climate Reality Leadership Corps provides concerned citizens with the tools to create change in their communities, for action on climate. Over the three-day course, Bray and her fellow trainees will learn from Gore, world class scientists, communicators and climate experts on how to become climate reality leaders back in their own communities.

“Our mission at The Climate Reality Project is to do our part to catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society. Our goals are to: create a critical mass of climate activists; implement, monitor, and strengthen national commitments to emissions reduction and other solutions in key countries; and accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy,” said the organization’s president, Ken Berlin.

Although training is taking place in Pittsburgh, recent sessions have taken place across the U.S., China, Canada, India and Brazil, drawing in an international crowd to discuss the impacts of climate change.

The organization has accepted more than a thousand trainees from all across the world to attend the training session, receiving more than twice as many applications as they have space.

“Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as they are submitted, and Climate Reality is not looking for any one type of applicant: whether you’re a seasoned community leader, a concerned parent, a business executive, or a student, you can help create a healthy future for the planet. Climate Reality Leaders come from all walks of life, but all come with the same deep desire to make a difference and help solve the climate crisis,” said Berlin.

Bray has been an advocate for the better part of her life, joining environmental groups, sharing her wealth of knowledge and founding local groups still in effect today.

She works daily to embody her teachings in her everyday lifestyle, right down to the solar panels and solar hot water heater in her home and the electric car she drives … if she must travel anywhere.

“My life is not carbon neutral yet, but I am getting there,” she said.

After spending her life following the greater trends, and doing what she can to not add to them, she hopes the training will help provide her with an opportunity to network with people in other communities who share similar concerns.

“I really like the idea of getting connected with two or three other people that are in somewhat similar situations as me to compare notes on what is happening in their community and how they are going about doing things,” she said. “I am also interested in finding out what events that different communities have had to raise awareness from people who do community education and community development because that is what I am the most interested in.”

And Bray hopes it will instill a bit of hope, as she’s been frustrated at times by the lack of progress, locally as well as nationally.

“I need to come back with inspiration because I am feeling despair. I have been involved, I have been writing letters here, I have been sending emails here – this year I sent one every week for the first two or three months to all of the councillors and all of the guys in engineering and planning – this has been going on for a long time, there is not one thing that has been planned because of all of those efforts. Not one damn thing, so it is discouraging. I think that I need a little shot of hope,” she said. “I hate to just let this go because I feel like it could make a difference, but things are pretty bad.”

“I don’t know where to go with it, I really don’t, so I do need a little injection of some hope, and then to be able to bring home that knowledge, and evoke grassroots change.”

As part of being a trainee, Bray is required to perform ten actions – ranging from creating awareness events, conducting research and writing letters to the editor and council and providing workshops among other things on behalf of the environmental health of the community – over the course of the next year.

The Climate Reality Leadership Corps training takes place October 17-19 in Pittsburgh.

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2 comments
  1. Obviously a well meaning lady. It’s unfortunate she has hitched her wagon to Al Gore. Mr Gore has enriched himself to the tune of hundreds of millions spreading fear with no basis in fact. An inconvenient truth indeed.

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