By Thais Lopez Vogel Esq., Cofounder and Trustee VoLo Foundation
Since the first Earth Day was organized in 1970, millions of people around the world, across cultures and geographies, have come together to celebrate and advocate for the home we all share – our planet.
The urgency of this Earth Day on April 22 has never been greater. The climate crisis continues to drive increasingly extreme weather events, particularly across Florida, where our cities are vulnerable to sea levels rising, extreme heat, and stronger hurricanes.
The data clearly underscores the extent to which our planet is dangerously heating, and a recent survey from the United Nations found that two-thirds of people think the challenge represents “a global emergency.”
Floridians are more worried about climate change than most Americans, given the state’s vulnerabilities. But we do ourselves a disservice by focusing only on the daunting challenges, without also recognizing the enormous opportunities they present. When we look at the trendlines in global temperature rise, it’s easy to become fatalistic about the future. But we really should be educating the public about the solutions.
Just think of the promise clean energy technologies hold in creating new jobs and new industries. From building more energy efficient infrastructure to investing more in green technologies, ideas for tackling climate change can generate massive benefits in innovation and wealth creation.
The countries and companies leading the race to a clean energy transition will be tomorrow’s winners; that’s why pundits have predicted the world’s “first trillionaire” will be an entrepreneur fighting climate change.
VoLo Foundation is focused on educating the public and highlighting the opportunities in science-based climate solutions. That’s why we are hosting events like Florida Climate Week, a week-long free virtual summit marking the week of Earth Day with a focus on climate action and solutions in Florida.
Held online from April 19-23, Florida Climate Week will be an opportunity for attendees to find out in greater depth about the harm climate change is having in their communities. They also will learn how they can play a greater role in solutions that can ensure a sustainable planet for future generations.
Attendees will gain free access to more than 45 exclusive events addressing urgent topics ranging from the merits of instituting a price on carbon to simple steps people can take today to reduce their environmental footprint. The event will feature renowned thought leaders and expert speakers, who will provide insights about cutting-edge research, the latest technological innovations, and solutions to accelerate global change. You can register online for free at www.floridaclimateweek.org
There is no future without environmental education. We have spent the last two centuries building a society powered by fossil fuels; we now have a few years to re-imagine a more sustainable way of living.
This Earth Day, let’s take the next step in advancing a brighter future by educating ourselves about the challenges we face – and what our society stands to gain by taking action now.
Thais Lopez Vogel is Cofounder/Trustee of VoLo Foundation, a nonprofit foundation focused on science-based climate solutions, education, and health.
“The Invading Sea” is the opinion arm of the Florida Climate Reporting Network, a collaborative of news organizations across the state focusing on the threats posed by the warming climate.