Category Archives: The Sink or Swim Project

World Business Leader’s Rank Sea Level Rise As Their Number One Concern As World’s Temperatures Set Yet Another Record

The world is a scary place.

With global terrorism growing, wars and political conflict all over the planet and cyber thieves dominating most news headlines it is interesting to see that world business leaders rank the need to address our planet’s changing climate as their number one concern. Specifically, the top concern is “failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation.”

According to the World Economic Forum and its 2016 Global Risk Report, climate change is a greater risk than weapons of mass destruction, global water crisis, involuntary migration or energy price fluctuations. This is the first time that an environmental issue was listed as the respondents’ top concern.

Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks. Meanwhile, geopolitical instability is exposing businesses to cancelled projects, revoked licenses, interrupted production, damaged assets and restricted movement of funds across borders. These political conflicts are in turn making the challenge of climate change all the more insurmountable – reducing the potential for political co-operation, as well as diverting resource, innovation and time away from climate change resilience and prevention.”


– Cecilia Reyes, chief risk officer of Zurich Insurance Group, which helped develop the report.

Founded in 1971 and based in Geneva Switzerland, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report uses the views of 750 international experts to evaluate 29 global risks and their impact on businesses over the next decade. Membership in the World Economic Forum includes 1,000 of the world’s top corporations, global enterprises that each have sales in excess of $5 billion. To read the report and learn more, click here:


The World Economic Forum’s report arrives in the same week that both NASA and NOAA  announced that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history. Humans have recorded temperatures since 1880 and following 2014 being the hottest year on record is the news that, just one year later, 2015 has now broken its record. Here is what NASA and NOAA had to say about the growing, record heat on earth;

“2015’s record temperatures are the result of the gradual, yet accelerating, build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere. Scientists have been warning about it for decades and now we are experiencing it. 

Fifteen of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001. Temperatures will bounce around from year to year, but the direction of the long-term trend is as clear as a rocket headed for space: it is going up.”


– NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan

To read NASA’s and NOAA’s truly excellent blog on 2015’s temperatures, climate change and sea level rise please click here:

So what does all of this mean?

It seems to me that businesses are beginning to understand that our climate is changing, that seas are rising and they are concerned with how these facts will impact their future. It also seems to me that the discussion on climate change and sea rise is becoming more focused on the scientific facts that show that we have a significant problem and that we must begin to take it seriously rather than listen to those who spread doubt or use false fear to play politics.

Children of my generation understand how important this topic is and that we will be responsible for solving it. To see today’s business leaders, space and weather scientists and others take it so seriously gives me hope for the future. As my generation takes on global leadership roles we will need to build on the solutions that are put into place today so the sooner we can begin solving the problem, the better.

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.

india pic
2 4 copy

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. 

5 6
ba1072e6-72b8-4f05-a7c3-bc7e9ec1e53d 4437801a-85d9-4b14-8150-1fca4226d8ba

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.8

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!


Bravo! COP21 Results in a Landmark Agreement on Climate Change


Yesterday, December 11th, the COP21 Conference including 195 countries came to an agreement on the need to shift from carbon-based fuels and on a way to do so. This is a start to the type of global progress that we need and while the goals and limitations will not solve the problem, it is, finally, a serious beginning. Congratulations to the world’s nations who came together to begin seriously addressing the problem that threatens our future.

1 27 28 29 30