Todd Howard hopes to spread the inconvenient truth: Former Vice President Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” that is.

Howard was selected from a pool of people nationwide to be trained by Gore to give a presentation on global warming corresponding with his documentary, which played in movie theaters last year.

An environmental issues advocate, Gore travels worldwide to talk about global warming. Through The Climate Project, which Gore established, he plans to train 1,000 people to be “Climate Change Messengers” and give his talk.

After seeing the documentary, Howard applied to be trained, never thinking he would be picked.

“In some ways, I saw it as an obligation,” Howard says. “I was so flattered to get chosen. It was an incredible group of highly intelligent people.”

Howard recently spent two days in Nashville with 200 other people being trained by Gore. In exchange for slides and the PowerPoint presentation, he agreed to give the talk 10 times in a year for free.

Howard, who is president of his architecture firm T. Howard + Associates, hopes to give two to three presentations a month to neighborhood groups, church groups and business groups. The more people he can reach, the better, Howard says.

“There are a lot of skeptics” of global warming, he says. “There are a lot of people who think this is not happening. The whole purpose of this is to raise awareness.”

One of those skeptics was Jennifer Hoesterey, one of Howard’s neighbors who heard his presentation at a neighborhood meeting.

“I had heard of global warming, of course,” Hoesterey says. “But I was cynical. (Howard’s presentation) definitely made an impact on me. It definitely changed my mind.”

Hoesterey’s response is not unusual.

“It’s amazing, when you give the presentation, how positively people receive it,” Howard says.

The presentation lasts about hour and a half and is packed with data about global warming and its impact on the world’s climate. Howard says he tailors and shortens it to whatever an organization needs.

In addition to global warming, the presentation also covers simple things people can do every day to improve the environment. Howard has implemented many changes at his office, such as using wind-generated electricity and buying recycled paper.

At home, he replaced all of his family’s light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights, which are more efficient. He traded in his Acura for a Toyota Hybrid Prius. And if he is buying only one or two things at the store, he won’t take a plastic bag.

“You start getting a little more keyed in,” Howard says.

Even though the environment has always been one of Howard’s pet issues  — he helped start an aluminum can recycling program during his years at Texas A&M University — he didn’t vote for Gore in 2000.

“My wife converted me since then,” Howard says.

To learn more about Howard’s “An Inconvenient Truth” presentation, call him at 214-522-1100 or visit the climateproject.org.


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