From India With Love
हम हवा की दिशा को बदल नहीं सकते, लेकिन हम पाल समायोजित कर सकते हैं|
(We can’t change the direction of the wind, but we can adjust the sails.)
An Ancient Indian-Hindu Proverb
As a remarkable year for The Sink or Swim Project nears its end I am humbled to share an amazing gift that arrived a week before Christmas, a gift that should give us all hope for 2016 and the future.
On Thursday, the 17th of December, I presented my lecture on sea level rise to yet another class of wonderful children, in this case to a girls’ school of children between 6th and 10th grade that had assembled at 9 in the morning.
One of the things that made this presentation so special is that while the girls sat in their class at 9 in the morning, I sat in front of a camera and monitor at 10:30 the night before, 10 and a ½ hours earlier. The students were in class Friday morning, the 18th, at the Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya School in India as I sat in my school’s library here in Miami and connected with the class live by Skype on the other side of planet Earth.
A few weeks before my lecture, Ms. Khanka, at Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya School, contacted me by email, explained that she had heard about my work and invited me (virtually) in to her classroom. With that email she also shared the most wonderful artwork that her students had created about global warming and sea rise, several of which I’ve included throughout today’s blog posting. She also explained that her students had been studying climate change and global warming and, that as part of a related project, they drew their interpretations of global warming in the pictures that you see here today.
Not only was it an amazing experience to see that my work is reaching people all over the world, but it was inspiring to see that children everywhere are engaged in global warming topics such as sea level rise. That’s what I see whenever I present my lectures to children here in South Florida, that ‘kid’s get it’ as I often explain, so to see the same response on the other side of the planet is inspiring. The girls at Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya had many wonderful questions about what is happening here in Miami and what they could do to help me, as well as how they can become more involved in solving the issue there in India.
The students also shared stories with me about how India is creating solutions to mitigate global warming, along with population growth. India is one of the world’s most susceptible countries to climate change effects, including sea level rise.
They informed me that recently in New Delhi, the capital of India, a law has been enacted that allows people to drive their cars only every-other day, based on whether their license plate ends in an odd number or even number (odd numbered ending plated cars can drive on one day, even numbered on the next). Not only does this law reduce the amount of traffic in that congested city, but it also reduces carbon dioxide emissions.
It is exactly change like this that we need to make here in Florida, and for that matter, all over the world, to begin solving global warming. For giving us all hope that today’s children will solve global warming and sea level rise, thank you to the students at Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya.
Thanks as well as to Ms. Khanka at Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya for contacting me to lecture to your students, as well as allowing me that honor. I’d also like to thank Mr. Brian Diaz, at Palmer Trinity where I attend High School, for meeting me on campus so late that night to help ensure that my Skype connection to the other side of the world was just perfect (and it was), as well as for your kind words about my work on The Sink or Swim Project.
And thanks to my mother and father for driving me to school so late at night much less for always supporting my brother and I with our many passions.
I will leave you with one last picture from the students at Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya and with a wish to you, each of you reading this, for a Happy, Healthy, New Year in 2016. While there is much work to be done to solve sea level rise and global warming good progress towards the change that’s needed has begun all over the world this year. The smiles on the faces of my new friends in India tell me that and again show that today’s children will, I am sure, fix this problem and, in doing so, make the world a better place in countless ways.
Here’s to hoping that much more progress will be made in 2016 from Miami to India to beyond!