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Sharing my story at #CRinPH

shiela fro bec

Thanks to my dear friend and fellow climate warrior Dean Rebecca Barrios for taking this photo.

(I had the chance to briefly share my story at The Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Manila this afternoon. This is how I intended to share it, but the actual was a bit different. It was an honor to be introduced by Climate Reality Board Member Don Henry who I had the privilege of meeting in the Asia Pacific Climate Reality Leadership Congress in Melbourne in 2011. Meeting Climate Reality founder and chairman Al Gore at the back stage was so surreal, but that’s another story.)

I’m a farmer’s daughter. My father took pains to send us to school and not spend a day of work in the farm. But as a child I loved climbing trees and taking showers in the rain and daydreaming. However, my father’s dream for me was to set me out to make something of myself. And despite some detours, I found myself teaching in college and taking up a masters course. I was actually on my way. But I was burned out.

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An inconvenient path

In honor of the graduation of 1,000 new climate leaders this week, I again watched the Academy Award winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth (AIT).

I first watched AIT for free in a mall on the Earthday of 2007, and a few more times after. The very first time I saw the movie, I was truly startled, but my reaction would be best described as a combination of anger and despair. I felt it was so unfair for people to be suffering so much when they contribute so little to the carbon pollution. And I felt so helpless, feeling that there was nothing I could do to help solve such a gargantuan crisis. Continue reading