Category Archives: Al Gore

Fall Forward

“In the bottom of an old pond lived some grubs who could not understand why none of their group ever came back after crawling up the lily stems to the top of the water.  They promised each other that the next one who was called to make the upward climb would return and tell what had happened to him.  

Soon one of them felt an urgent impulse to seek the surface; he rested himself on the top of a lily pad and went through a glorious transformation which made him a dragonfly with beautiful wings.  In vain he tried to keep his promise.  Flying back and forth over the pond, he peered down at his friends below.  

Then he realized that even if they could see him they would not recognize such a radiant creature as one of their number. The fact that we cannot see our friends or communicate with them after the transformation which we call death is no proof that they cease to exist.”

The Dragonfly Story

By Walter Dudley Cavert

Do you know the feeling when you walk into a room and there’s that one person who fills up the place with his or her energy?

That person who everyone is drawn to and no matter what they are talking about, their thoughts and passions are contagious to the point that you want to meet them and become involved?

That’s my friend Hudson Lowe.

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I met Hudson in Downtown Miami in 2015 at Vice President Al Gore’s Climate Reality training. We, along with about 1,000 people from all over the world, spent three glorious days together studying the science of climate change with many of the planet’s leading experts. At the time I was a 15 year old Sophomore in High School and Hudson a Freshman at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

Immediately I could tell Hudson was a difference maker. Someone who would change the world. As Lin Manuel Miranda writes about Alexander Hamilton in his perfect play, Hamilton, ‘The man was non-stop’.

One idea after another came out of Hudson from the minute I met him and did not stop during the three days we spent together. Honestly, I’d never met anyone like him. He was smart and interesting and while I am often reserved and quiet, he was outgoing and instantly drew a large crowd of other young people to him that created a group that during those three days were inseparable. Together we knew we would change the world and it was obvious that Hudson would help lead the way.

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I found Hudson to be fun and funny while also being serious and concerned at the exact same time. He also made it clear how much he loved music and so it did not surprise me when in the midst of talking about the serious impacts of climate change to our future that he announced to me “Let’s make a rap video about climate change together’.   In honor of Hudson and the fun we had here’s our quick creation;

His enthusiasm and concern for climate change aside, I was impressed by how much my new friend had accomplished at such a young age. To call his accomplishments impressive is an understatement. In High School he’d founded the Ocoee Green Initiative which not only had an impact on his community but led to his school being honored by the Green School Recognition program. He’d traveled to Iceland as part of the Green Program, a student sustainability project and, like me, he knew that solar power should be installed everywhere so it was no surprise that while still in High School he made a presentation to the Orange County School Board to ask them to install solar panels on area schools. And he told me how he’d place stickers on the light switches all over his school, and pretty much anywhere else, reminding people to turn off the lights while instilling sustainability into their minds and lives.

And just like the work I do with The Sink or Swim Project, Hudson told me about how much he loved lecturing at elementary schools and educating children about climate change. As you can imagine, meeting someone my age that was doing the same type of work I was doing made a significant impression on me and gave me hope that I was not alone. In Hudson I knew that our generation had another soldier, a leader, to help spread the word and to demand the changes our society needs.

In college as an engineering student his interests and passions only grew. He joined FAU’s Mission Green Association program, its Ideas for Us, traveled to Vietnam and Hong Kong as part of a global leadership program,  and even found time to intern at the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management.  Taking rigorous classes in a challenging major would be plenty for most students, but not Hudson. He was out to change the world and was doing it with great gusto.

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Over the years since we met in 2015 I’ve thought a lot about Hudson, about his passion to be involved in so many different and important initiatives and how he inspired everyone he met. And I’ve especially thought about him nearly every day since learning of his passing late this summer, knowing he died at a far too young an age, yet had an impact that will last a lifetime and beyond.

Over the last few months I’ve tried hard to find the words to express both my sorrow over his loss and my appreciation for his friendship but Thanksgiving strikes me as a good time to thank Hudson for who he is and always will be in my mind and heart. It’s also what Hudson would want, to have me and all who knew him to “Fall Forward“.

And so to his dad Randy, mom Chris, and sisters Dakota and Delaney, thank you for raising such a fine young difference maker and leader. The world needs more Hudson Lowe’s to solve our climate crisis, to lead the way in treating people with kindness and to inspire our generation to be actively involved in making this place we call home, our planet, a better place.

To Hudson and the Lowe family, and to everyone else, Happy Thanksgiving.

To learn more about my friend Hudson Lowe and his lasting legacy, please visit the organization founded in his honor: www.ourgreenfuture.org, as well as follow them on instagram: www.instagram.com/fall_forward_.

2,000,000 +

Last week I experienced what people really mean when they say that their phone ‘blew up’ and I am pleased to say that it doing so was because of concern for our environment and especially for our climate crisis and sea rise concerns.

MTV had asked me to take over their Snapchat for a day in advance of the Town Hall I’d filmed for them with VP Al Gore, Steve Aoki, Fat Joe and Gabby Wilson. My young readers know this already but for those of you who have never used Snapchat, then I am here to tell you that it is a very big deal to millennials. How big a deal?

Well, during the day that I told my ‘story’ (that’s what it’s called in Snapchat language), the videos and pictures that I posted were viewed over 2,000,000 times. I still can’t believe it and actually stopped counting at 2,016,000 but the fact that many young people watched what I posted is great news and encourages me (yet again) to believe that today’s youth are serious about solving our climate crisis.

And what did I post in my ‘story’? Well you can watch the entire story by clicking on it below but they were not the typical funny cat videos or other silly internet oriented humor that dominates Snapchat. Some of the posts promoted the show An Inconvenient Special but most talked about what is happening all over South Florida including in Miami, Miami Beach and the Florida Keys. Here is the story (it’s limited to 10 second per video so the entire thing is just two minutes long).

And to watch MTV’s recent Town Hall, An Inconvenient Special, with me, VP Gore, Steve Aoki, Fat Joe and Gabby Wilson please just click the video below.

Brianna

So what does the more than 2,000,000 views suggest to me? Well the number of views combined with the number of people who emailed or texted me during and since (that’s the part where my phone ‘blew up’) suggests strongly that today’s youth are truly concerned about our warming climate and the crisis that is growing by the day as well as that they want solutions.

And they not only want to get involved, they know that they need to be involved. How do I know this? Well consider the first of several emails I’ve received from my new friend Brianna in New Jersey who wrote:

Hi Delaney,

Hi, my name’s Brianna, and I recently stumbled across an article on MTV’s Snapchat story about climate change and your efforts in stopping it. It was really interesting, so I did more research on your endeavors and found your website.

The fact that a teenage girl like myself could make such an impact was really, really inspiring to me. I just wanted to ask, how did you get started on all of this? For instance, how does one even begin writing and publishing a book, or make a significant difference in/bring awareness to climate change in a community?

I’ve always wanted to make accomplishments like this, and make a difference in the things I believe in, but I often get overwhelmed and never knew how to get started. I apologize for the vagueness of this request, but could you please help me?

Thank you so much for your time. Your achievements and efforts are extremely admirable, and the world is a better place with active fighters like you in it. Keep up the good work! I hope to be like you one day.

-Brianna

Brianna, the truth is that you inspire me.

And the other truth is that we are exactly like one another already in our concerns and desire to fix what’s badly broken. Your concerns and sentiments and all else are examples of why I work so hard to educate and engage young people over our planet’s climate crisis and to create positive changes to help solve the problem. So to you and everyone else who wrote or texted or commented, even those that were negative, thank you for being engaged in the conversation.

‘Rain Bombs’

And speaking of my recent Snapchat Story I want to end by sharing how truly timely it and MTV’s An Inconvenient Special and especially VP Gore’s new movie, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, is here in South Florida. In the new movie VP Gore explains that our warming climate is experiencing more and more extreme weather including what he called ‘rain bombs’. He talked about how the climate crisis is creating conditions for more severe storms and within them torrential rains that drop an unprecedented amount of water, a ‘rain bomb’, in one place or another.

And his use of the term, and my learning of it from him, is certainly topical based on what happened just the day before I filmed my Snapchat Story for MTV when South Florida was ‘attacked’ by a ‘rain bomb’ that crippled much of our region by dumping an unusually large amount of rain on top of our elevated sea levels to create flooding that crippled many areas. That flooding from ever increasingly severe weather, including ‘rain bombs’ on top of the growing water levels all around us is yet another example of the future South Florida faces in a world of rapidly rising sea levels.

And if a region can be crippled by a severe rain storm as reported by the Miami Herald (click here to read Cleanup But Few Closures The Day After Floodwaters Soaked Cities) consider what will happen when a large hurricane slowly passes our region and drops an unimaginable volume of water on top of our already elevated sea levels.

And then, just for ‘fun’, consider what will happen when these type events happen in the years to come when the sea level all around us and the waters under our porous limestone geology are much higher than they are today. Or when they have become so high on their own that they impact our daily lives every day, even without a rain storm or hurricane. That’s the future of South Florida and countless places all over America and the World unless we get serious, seriously soon, and end our use of fossil fuels and stop emitting the carbon pollution that’s causing this crisis.

So whether or not you watch MTV or use Snapchat, I need your help. The good news is that I know that millions of young people share my concerns and that those 2,000,000+ views just scratch the surface of how young people all over our planet feel. I know that I speak for them when I say to those adults in charge today, political ‘leaders’, businesses executives and others that it is time we all get serious and get started solving the problem.

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