Istanbul Climate Leaders Training – I am Pro Snow!

Posted on in Community + Giving Back, Nature + Outdoors by Jaclyn Paaso

Almost a year ago, I received an email from Warren Miller Entertainment asking me if I would like to become an ambassador for the "I Am Pro Snow" initiative. WME had partnered with The Climate Reality Project to unite people with the love of snow and spread the awareness of climate change. I have to admit, when I first received the email I feared I was not qualified to take on this task. After some time time, I decided to respond to becoming an ambassador. I figured it was an issue I care about, and this was a great way to help, even though I had no clue in what form my help would come.

I was accepted to become an ambassador, and I have to admit, at that point some panic set in. What did I just sign myself up for? I'm not knowledgeable enough on this topic to help, I thought! I attended the 24-hours of Reality in NYC soon after becoming an ambassador. I was honored to meet so many dedicated people on the issue of climate change. Those behind the scenes of the Climate Reality Project, as well as Al Gore and Maggie Fox. It was a huge honor to meet the whole team. Still I wondered, what could I do to help besides re-tweeting and writing a few blogs?

This past spring, I became aware that the Climate Reality Project was putting together Climate Leaders Training Workshops. Maybe this was my moment to make my next step and be more pro-active?

I signed up, I was over in Sweden for the summer so I would attend the training in Istanbul. A Facebook group was set up, and I was able to see who else would be attending this workshop. Once again I thought I was over my head. There were so many dedicated, educated people, not only spread awareness, but also help in the fight against climate change! Myself, well I'm a pro skier.

I was seated at table number 1, reserved for the VIP. I felt a bit lost, yet so excited to be amongst such great minds. There I met a few guys at my table who suggested we check out Gezi Park after the first day. This was a tough time in Turkey. Protests over a park had turned political and violent. Although when we walked through the park that day it seemed peaceful, and a shame that someone would want to destroy one of the few parks in the city.

Gezi Park

Gezi Park

The second day of the conference, we were fortunate to have Al Gore there to inform us about climate change, and how to present it to the rest of the world. That morning I realized I had walked through the park with a Nobel Peace prize recipient and geophysicist, Henry Pollack. Also in presence was Australia's environmentalist of the year biologist, Don Henry. I meet a lot of amazing people in the ski industry, but to meet two guys making a huge impact on the fight against climate change is special.

I sat for hours soaking in all of the info Al Gore had to share. From time to time finding my mind wandering off a bit with tons of ideas. I learned a lot about climate change that day. I think the most important thing I learned, was what role I could play to help stop it. Don Henry told me stories of other trainees that he had met that had made impacts in their community. From singers, rugby players, to one woman in Australia who felt as lost as me, that put on one presentation that resulted in a huge impact in the Australian government. Al Gore

Everyone can help stop climate change. That doesn't mean you have to be a scientist or a politician. You can come from any background, as long as you don't forget one person can make a difference.

Now it's time to gather my thoughts and figure out how I can help. I've got plenty of ideas and I can't wait to report back with my progress!

To learn more about The Climate Reality Project and I Am Pro Snow follow this link:

Jaclyn Paaso

After many years as a competitive mogul skier, with one title as Jr. World Combined Champion, Jaclyn decided to take a break from mogul skiing. Jaclyn moved out to Lake Tahoe, California where she became a freestyle coach for the Alpine Meadows Freestyle Team and then the Squaw Valley ski team.

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