Sunday, April 22, 2007
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
at the Gualala Arts Center
Earth Day 2007, co-sponsored by Matrix of Change and Gualala Arts, will be celebrated on Sunday, April 22nd from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Matt Lappé will speak on the topic of climate change and its potential impacts on local food production. The program will also include a luncheon and entertainment. Tickets will be available at Gualala Arts. Cost will be $45.00 (for a group of four), $15.00 for one, and $20.00 at the door.
The Climate Project
is a movement to educate and challenge citizens and governments into action against the growing crisis of global warming. As a non-profit group, they work to bring education, community information, research and citizen action programs to communities across the country. Their first initiative, sponsored by Participant Productions, is the training of 1,000 lecturers who will present the information delivered in An Inconvenient Truth to audiences across America. Our community is very lucky to have one of those lecturers, Matt Lappé.
Matt Lappé grew up in Gualala attending Point Arena High School. He went on to study ecology and climate change science at Stanford University where he received B.S. and M.S. degrees in the department of Earth Systems. He has been involved with environmental science and climate change research in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Cambodia and Vietnam. He currently teaches at the Pacific Community Charter High School in Point Arena, CA where he has initiated a program for alternative energy and climate change education. He has received over $15,000 in grants to support his efforts and works with the Coast Economic Localization Link (CELL) and the Point Arena City Council to help bring together youth education and community action. Following in the footsteps of his kindred political and environmental activists Marc Lappé, Francis Moore Lappé, Anna Lappé, and Anthony Lappé, Matt is committed to spreading awareness of climate change science and helping to bring about change.
Charter School Teacher Matthew Lappé Attends Training with Al Gore
Over the winter break, I had the opportunity to attend a training session with former Vice President Al Gore to learn effective new ways to teach climate change science. The training was held January 2nd through the 5th in Nashville, Tennessee and hosted 200 teachers, academics, energy professionals, non-profit organizers, politicians, and media producers from around the world. We were given resources and strategies for giving in-depth lectures on global climate change to students and the general public. As a participant of the training, I have pledged to give at least 10 presentations over the next year to communities in the Mendocino County and beyond.
The event was hosted by
The Climate Project,
a non-profit group that aims to challenge citizens and governments into action against the growing crisis of global warming. Al Gore initiated The Climate Project following the tremendous success of Davis Guggenheim's documentary An Inconvenient Truth. The Nashville training I attended was one of five workshops that will train a total of 1,000 lecturers to present to audiences across America and throughout the world. The hope is that by addressing the issue of climate change from the grassroots, an understanding of the climate crisis will be accessible to a larger segment of the population and real efforts can be initiated for change.
I was very impressed by the depth and thoroughness of the training. I expected the workshops to be led by assistants or peripheral members of The Project and was pleasantly surprised to find that Al Gore himself taught the majority of the program. I had a front row seat as Mr. Gore presented an extended version of his now famous slideshow on global warming. Over the next three days, we were taught how to teach the slideshow by Mr. Gore and his science advisors, who patiently walked us through the presentation slide-by-slide, providing extensive background and detail to make our understanding complete. As attendees of the session, we were also treated to delicious meals and live music in downtown Nashville. The picture I have included was taken at BB King's Blues club where I had a chance to meet Al Gore and talk about our wonderful community on the coast.
The training I've received fits in very well with other developing projects at the Pacific Community Charter High School. We have received two sizable grants that are being used to teach students about energy resources, climate change and renewable technologies. With a $10,000 grant from BP's
A+ For Energy Program, we have purchased materials for a solar powered science lab. This includes a 750-Watt solar array, monitoring devices and some basic science equipment. Through PG&E's Bright Ideas Grant, we have been given $5,000 to expand the project to set up a solar-powered computer station. Included with the grants are science curriculum kits that help the students learn about energy resources hands on.
Each one of us has a responsibility to understand climate change and take steps to slow its ominous progression. Please keep an eye out for my upcoming lectures for the Climate Project. If you haven't seen An Inconvenient Truth, the presentation is an excellent way to become educated about the science and facts about climate change. If you have seen Al Gore's film and are already involved with energy conservation, the events are good ways to organize our community more effectively and take larger steps to curb our energy gluttony. I hope to arrange events at schools, theaters and community centers throughout Mendocino County, as well as in homes for smaller sized groups. If you are interested in arranging a showing, or if you would like to donate to help with travel and equipment expenses, please contact me by email:
I look forward to being part of our community's further involvement with the challenging issue of global climate change.
The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email
Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.