As I have said and written many times, children understand that our climate is warming and the carbon dioxide our cars, power plants, planes and on and on emit are a key cause. Youth are not buried under politics or self-serving bias to protect their job or an industry. Their eyes are clear and their hearts and minds are in the right place when it comes to wanting to fix what’s broken. Kids, as I’ve said, ‘get it’, and that’s true all over the world.
As just the most recent example I’ve seen, consider the letter from 14 year old Jason that arrived in this week’s mail. Jason is a 9th grader and goes to school at the Canadian International School of Hong Kong. A civics class project led him to somehow find my work and to write an awfully nice letter to me. But his sentiments about me aside, the reason that leads me to share his letter is his concern and understanding about our global climate crisis.
At just 14.
In the letter he wrote…
Climate change and global warming are very large issues that the earth is facing right now because if the temperature around the world continues to rise at a similar rate as it is now not long from now there will be large impacts to the world’s populations of humans and other species.
I could not have said it better, Jason, so thank you for your letter and kind comments but it is you, and people like you all over my community, country and our planet that inspire me to try to make a difference.
Jason ended his letter by saying this: I am excited in a way to see what action you take next and how you can further impact the world in a positive way. Well, Jason, I am also excited to see what you do in your community and I hope you will keep me posted. Something tells me that you are destined to do great things, to be the ‘greatest’ and I am certain that together you and I and the world’s youth can fix what’s wrong and solve our global climate crisis.
I love sharks and am deeply proud to have just completed my first year as an intern in Dr. Hammerschlag’s Shark Research & Conservation (SRC) Lab here at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
As summer begins and my Freshman year at RSMAS comes to an end, I am excited to share that I am about to cast off with some of my SRC lab partners and people from the Field School for a shark research expedition in the magnificent waters of the Dry Tortugas in the Gulf of Mexico. I’ll be traveling and living aboard the 55’ R/V Garvin’s research vessel with 13 other crew members and we will be performing all sorts of cool research on shark populations in the Gulf.
68 miles West of Key West, the Dry Tortugas are an untouched natural environment filled with incredible marine life and beauty. With the exception of Fort Jefferson, which maintains a small staff of National Park Service personnel, the islands are uninhabited and were named by Ponce de Leon in the early 1500’s after sailing by them and believing they were shaped like turtles (tortugas in his native Spanish language).
I visited the Dry Tortugas about three years ago on a family fishing and diving trip and fell in love with them. The waters are pristine, the beaches soft and bright white and the sea and marine bird life is abundant everywhere you look or swim. It’s simply an amazing place and I am very exited about conducting research there and enjoying another adventure in a place I love.
While I am offshore on the expedition, please know that I will not have any cell, email or internet service but I hope to return will all sorts of stories and pictures to share with you. Enjoy the end of your school year and the start of summer and you can be sure I will be enjoying my time with the sharks and other awesome marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.
I’m Going Dark So Others Can Be The Light
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
When the NBA Playoffs began recently, NBA legend LeBron James announced to his nearly 40 million Instagram followers that he’d cease posting on social media as part of his annual Zero Dark Thirty-23 ritual but in doing so he explained “I’m going dark so others can be the light’.
Over the last couple of weeks King James has posted a number of amazing and inspirational Instagram Stories on his site from young people all over America.” I am proud and truly humbled to share that my own work with The Sink or Swim Project and @miamisearise was today’s featured story on @kingjames. You can watch by clicking here: https://www.instagram.com/p/BisHHABBVER/?taken-by=miamisearise.
LeBron’s greatness and dominance at his profession speaks for itself. No matter how long I live I might never see a better team, or better hoops, than during his time here with the Miami Heat. The Big Three team of LeBron, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh were magical but his work on the court only scratches the surface of what I am sure he will do in his time here on earth. LeBron’s destiny, like Muhamad Ali before him, is to have an impact far beyond sports and I am grateful that he would use my message to educate his followers about our global climate change crisis.
Appropriately, LeBron’s last social medial post before the playoffs tipped off was a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness; Only Light Can Do That
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Thanks LeBron for using your voice and role in our society to bring awareness to important social issues as climate change and sea level rise. And thanks for featuring young people and inspiring so many others to use their voice to make a positive difference. Great luck during the playoffs! I will be rooting for the Cavs to make it a seven game Championship series so that we can enjoy more Insta Stories on social media, along with some sick basketball from the greatest of all time! #AlwaysBelieve
And last, but not least, happy Mother’s Day to moms everywhere starting with the best mom in the world, my own mom Juli. III mom and thanks for all you do for me and our entire family.