Sandy Mah writes about his journey from being an active member of his companies Green Team to becoming a Climate Leader with the Climate Reality Project Canada.
BY: Sandy Mah
When I joined TELUS’ Green Team in the summer of 2012, it had been newly formed; we were emboldened by the support of our mission to promote green and sustainable practices at work.
Our first event, a lunchtime video screening, had low attendance, but we were not to be deterred. We vowed that our next event would be much better. I suggested we bring in a climate leader like David Suzuki to speak…surely this would draw a full house.
When I inquired with the David Suzuki foundation they referred me to the Climate Reality Project Canada – a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Canadians about the science and impact of climate change. They offered public speakers from their team of professionally trained climate leaders at no cost. I requested a presenter and was contacted by Eric Novak – He was an Al Gore-trained speaker who had made speeches to 20,000 Canadians about climate change at that point; we set a date for later in the year.
Our event was timely; a month earlier the greater New York area was hit by the massive Super-storm Sandy (no relation to me). I remember standing in front of the group, I held up the cover of Businessweek magazine, it reported an estimated $50 billion in damage was caused by this supposed “once in a lifetime” storm. The red magazine cover simply stated in large black letters: “It’s Global Warming, Stupid!”
I introduced Eric. He was a media expert, an automobile journalist, a father and self-proclaimed “Envirodad“ who shared that he volunteered to speak about climate change on behalf of The Climate Reality Project Canada only because it mattered to him. He led our Green Team through a narrative that climate change was happening and getting worse. He left us with the knowledge to understand the climate crisis, the solutions, and the impetus to act.
Fast forward to 2015. I am still part of the TELUS Green Team. Our team has run many promotions focused on educating employees about sustainable transportation (biking, carpooling, electric vehicles), water issues (bottled water, microbeads) and recycling (clothing, mobile phones).
I remembered that Eric volunteered for the Climate Reality Project and I started following their Twitter feed. When they tweeted that there would be a training session with Al Gore in Toronto I applied immediately. I was ready to follow in Eric’s footsteps and take the message to Canadians that more action on climate change is needed.
I joined Eric and the 8,000 other strong Climate Reality leaders this summer. I am excited to be a part of group of passionate leaders from so many different backgrounds. I look forward to my first presentation, because we can’t fail in our mission of reaching Canadians about climate change. The survival of our planet depends on it.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Sandy is a passionate and inspiring example of Canadians taking action and willingly engaging with other Canadians about the Reality of Climate Change. I am both honored and delighted to have had a small part in inspiring him to join Climate Reality Project Canada, and I am certain that he will make a positive difference!)