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Climate activists trained by Al Gore to speak in SLO, Santa Maria

Posted at 6:42 AM, Nov 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-20 09:49:25-05

Across all 50 states and in 75 countries around the world, including in San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria, activists are hosting climate change discussions.

The event called 24 Hours of Reality: Truth in Action is organized by former U.S. Vice Pres. Al Gore, whose climate work was featured in the award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

That truth, Gore said, will be shared in a global discussion Wednesday, where individual communities will be equipped with information about reducing emissions on a small personal scale.

"Talking to people about solutions they can do themselves at home that will have an impact on the climate crisis," Paul Deis, a Paso Robles climate activist, said. "Many of the other presentations are more global in thought and people go, 'OK, I don't know what to do.' So we're going to spend our time helping people understand what actions they personally can take."

Though Gore will not be present at the Central Coast climate discussions, Deis and meteorologist John Lindsey will share insights on climate change research.

Deis said he hopes people will attend with an open mind.

"If you don't agree that climate change is a problem, talk to someone who does," Deis said. "That's what we need in society today is discussion between people with dissimilar views. Don't put up a wall, have a discussion, we can all learn from each other. And think about, what's the worst that can happen if the climate concerned people are wrong is we accidentally have a cleaner planet. What's the worst that happens if people who don't believe in climate change are wrong? We all die."

Climate reality leaders like Deis are volunteers trained by Gore and a team of scientists, strategists and experts to talk about the climate crisis and its solutions.

Deis said transportation, food consumption, and our day-to-day purchases will be among the ways he recommends people reduce their impact on the environment.

People who attend the presentations will have the option to have a tree planted on their behalf through a collaboration between the Climate Reality Project and One Tree Planted.

The San Luis Obispo discussion takes place Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the PG&E Education Center. The Santa Maria event is being held at Righetti High School.