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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Gore trains engineer to raise global-warming awareness

Gore trains engineer to raise global-warming awareness
Hudson Star-Observer
Hudson businessman Craig Tarr returned last week from a large training session with former Vice President Al Gore in Nashville, Tenn.
Tarr’s company, Energy Concepts, focuses on renewable energy systems, but he said this trip was not about business.
“This is more of a personal endeavor than a professional endeavor,” Tarr said.

Hudson businessman Craig Tarr, left, returned recently from a global warming training session led by former Vice President Al Gore. Submitted photo
He will now go out this year and deliver at least a dozen presentations about global warming to whatever audiences he can — professional groups, civic groups, churches, chambers, students.
While Tarr’s known that carbon emissions damage the atmosphere, he said Gore’s training was inspiring and revealing. He was honored and awed to be there with such esteemed attendees.
Tarr sat among professors, politicians, clergy, city officials, climate attorneys, nonprofit organizers, a few other engineers and others interested in raising awareness and hearing Gore’s message.
He said what?
Tarr said the whole training thing started when Gore, passionate about global warming and environmental protection for some 30 years, rather suddenly stated on national TV that he would train 1,000 people.
He’d show them all how to tell the story of global warming much like he tells it in his book and movie released in 2006, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Gore’s staff didn’t know of his plan at the time he made his pledge but put together the training inside of about six months.
Tarr heard about the training and applied. He said the site they initially set up to take applications, crashed because it was inundated with thousands of hits from people interested in going.
“It’s way bigger than it was anticipated to be,” he said about the concept.
According to Tarr, Gore’s chief of staff picked the 1,000 participants from the thousands who applied from the United States and Australia.
“Just being in his (Gore’s) presence, you can tell his charisma is unparalleled,” Tarr said. “It’s not a political thing for him, he’s been at it 30 years…When he speaks to you, it just grabs you by the heart and gut.
He said Gore went out of his way to make the training non partisan, calling it a moral and ethical issue.
Gore called the big group his “cavalry.” One of the catches to the training: Nobody could take payment for the presentations they promised to give.
Gore emphasized urgency since once global warming passes a certain point, it will be irreversible. For example, if the northern polar ice cap -– where polar bears live -– melts, it won’t refreeze.
Tarr said multiple scientific sources agree that global warming is real, like the Antarctic ice shelf breaking.
“We didn’t expect that to melt for 100 years,” he said.
Climate Project
Gore plans to give the same training to more big audiences in Nashville, as well as Australia and Europe. And all those trainees will give the presentation to at least 12 audiences.
Tarr said the presentation he gives will vary from audience to audience but will run about an hour and have a time for questions. Tarr’s trainers encouraged them to tailor the format as they see fit, to “take it and run.”
“They don’t want us to attempt to be Al Gore,” he said.
According to Tarr, The Climate Project (, partnered with the National Wildlife Federation ( to do the training program, which is funded by a collaboration of companies.
He said the slides define global warming, show the impacts of it on a glacier in Peru (then and now photos) and predict the outcome if nothing is done.
Tarr learned and will teach about potential solutions, too. See this story’s accompanying sidebar for 10 things the NWF says everyone can do to reverse global warming.
He said, “We have the technology to fix it…Groups already formed in River Falls are doing things and can help.”
Rubbing elbows
Tarr said, “I spent a fair amount of time talking to Tipper.”
He said she’s a neat lady and very gracious.
Cameron Diaz came but didn’t allow anyone to photograph her. The attendees stayed at the Hilton hotel and were treated to dinner each of three nights plus entertainment by musicians Gore invited.
Tarr bumped into Little Richard in the hotel, who said to him, “You tell that Al Gore he’s a good man.”
Tarr said Gore was involved in every activity and very approachable. After returning from training Friday, Tarr was ready to find his first audience.
He said he plans to put resources behind his statement, “I’m a steward of the Earth.”
Anyone interested in having Tarr give a free presentation to their group should call Kathy Tarr at 425-6418.

10 ways everyone can reverse global warming
1) Replace light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Switching to just one of these light bulbs will save 500 pounds of coal.
2) Buy green power that comes from non-polluting sources of electricity such as solar cells and windmills. Buy appliances with the Energy Star label.
3) Buy wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
4) Recycle aluminum cans, glass bottles, plastic, paper, cardboard and newspapers which reduces the energy needed to make new products.
5) Have a service person turn your water heater down to 120-140 F.
6) Install a programmable thermostat.
7) Change or clean your furnace and air conditioner filters regularly to keep systems running efficiently.
8) Conduct a home energy audit.
9) Keep car tires at the proper pressure to avoid wasting gas.
10) Buy a fuel-efficient vehicle, carpool and use mass transit.
Source: National Wildlife Federation
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