While I was visiting family in early May, a favorite aunt (she’s as environmentally passionate as I am) and I saw the trailer for “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” and we clapped and hooted in the movie theater. We were so excited for this movie to come out. At the time, I thought in my head, “I would love to put together a group of friends to go see this then have a discussion afterwards about it”. Well, my dream came true…without me even having to plan it. In mid-July, our San Diego Sierra Club chapter invited its Chapter Outing Leaders to a pre-screening of Al Gore’s documentary at the Mission Valley AMC theater, two weeks before general release. It was to be accompanied by a panel discussion afterwards. I signed up immediately.
The day came, and three friends of mine carpooled down to the screening with me. We enjoyed the movie about the Climate Crisis (yet to be honest, it’s hard to ‘enjoy’ something that’s scaring you so much about the future of our planet; more on that later), then the speakers for the panel began. Leaders and representatives from the Sequoia Foundation, San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action, and a Gore disciple from his renowned training program spoke to the audience. They were so passionate, excited, and knowledgeable that it really gave me hope!
If you see the movie and end up wanting to spread the message, there is a PDF or PowerPoint presentation designed to educate in ten minutes at the Climate Reality Project.org website called the “Truth in 10“. If everyone is unable to see the entire documentary, they can at least know the important facts from this.
That same week, a Wilderness Basics Course friend reached out via Facebook asking if anyone wanted to join her for the July 19 Activists Orientation (there was second one held on August 17 too). After seeing the movie and hearing the speakers, I was in! I felt like I had to do something but I didn’t know what. I thought this Orientation may give me some guidance.
Ally and Morgan are the young, friendly co-coordinators for activism in our Chapter. The Orientation was well-organized and casual, yet very informative. Presentations were given by many Chapter subcommittees, including the Political Committee and the Conservation Committee. Even though I’ve been a fairly active member of the Club since 2002, it was a great refresher and I actually learned a lot more than I had known in the first place.
In conclusion, “An Inconvenient Truth” was very interesting but also a bit depressing. I wanted some better news at the end of the movie, but the panel discussion and the Activists Orientation gave me that better news. And a plan for moving forward with hope. There are numerous opportunities within our Chapter for helping out, taking action, informing others, working with local politicians, and affecting change that will shape our future. It’s a very exciting time and I hope you get involved too!
About the Author
Jody Stell is a Chapter Outings Leader and Staff member on the Wilderness Basics Course who has kept a Hiking Log since she moved to San Diego and joined the Sierra Club; her favorite was the Camino de Santiago in Spain. She has Explored and Enjoyed, now she will Protect.