I am humbled and excited to share with you that the video for the TEDx Talk that I gave on sea level rise earlier this year has just been released and I cannot think of a better day to share it with everyone than Mother’s Day.
The reason that sharing this with you today is so appropriate is because of the wonderful support that my mother (and father and brother) has given to me is beyond anything that I could have hoped for and is part of the reason that The Sink or Swim Project has touched thousands of people in such a short time.
I sincerely hope that you will share this TEDx Talk with as many people as possible. The topic and the message are very important to South Florida, our country, and our planet. As you will see, the talk focuses on the fact that our planet is warming, seas are rising, that we must and can overcome political obstacles that protect old habits, and that the children of my generation “get it” and will demand solutions, as well as lead the way during our lifetimes to implement them.
Thank you to my mother for all of her love and support and happy Mother’s Day to your moms. The love of a mother is like no other and should be cherished, and that includes cherishing our environment and Mother Earth.
Dr. Ben Kirtman, Professor and Director of the Cooperative Institute of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, is one of the world’s leading climate scientists, a co-author of the NOAA Climate Prediction Task Force and the IPPC’s most recent report, as well as someone who has been very kind to help educate me about climate change and sea rise over the last few years. He and many other exceptional educators all over the University such as Dr. Hal Wanless, Professor and Chair of the School’s Department of Geological Sciences, are at the absolute cutting edge of the study of sea level rise science, the social and health impacts that climate change will increasingly have on our world, alternative energy solutions that we must commit to and the policy making issues that will help us solve this growing crisis.
The University of Miami is, in my view, uniquely positioned to both study and help solve this growing crisis and, although I admit being biased (I am a graduate of the school’s Summer Scholars Program in Tropical Marine Biology and plan to study Ecosystem Science & Policy there this coming summer as well as follow my mom, dad and grandfather, all of whom are Miami grads, by applying late this year for undergrad admission), I am deeply proud and excited that the new University President, Julio Frenk, has made climate change a major focus of his administration, of part of what he calls The Relevant University. In his recent Inauguration speech Dr. Frenk made his commitment to helping the world on its climate concerns clear when he said;
For instance, rising sea levels—a major threat to Miami as well as the rest of the world—was discussed repeatedly during my listening exercise. Climate change is an arena where virtually every academic discipline has something to contribute, and where the institution is already showing the way forward. In the coming months, we will announce a new University-wide effort to expand our considerable expertise in sea level rise. This is exactly the kind of transformative, global contribution that Miami can and should be making to the search for sustainable solutions.
So with these thoughts in mind I am pleased to share the news of the University’s campus wide focus on climate change and to share with you their brand new overview that shows the depth of their commitment and ability to help our community and world. As we say around these parts, it really is “All About The U’!
The magic of No Name Key never ceases to amaze me and that certainly was the case today, Easter Sunday, when we were visited by the “Easter Manatee” in lieu of the Easter Bunny, even though there are some endangered marsh rabbits here!
No sooner than I saw the young Key Deer and its mother above in the woods next to my home, out popped a brand new fawn barely able to walk on its own.
And if the deer were not enchanting enough, this incredible Great Blue Heron watched over me as I loaded the boat while the manatee that we named Spot, because of the spot on its nose, surfaced right next to me.
As my brother, Owen, and I head off on a new adventure on the water near No Name Key, we wish you Happy Easter from The Sink or Swim Project and all my animal friends!