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On Sunday CNN published an article by Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz entitled Ted Cruz: Trump should withdraw from Paris climate pact that asked President Trump to back out of the Paris Climate Agreement and in, doing so, uphold one of Trump’s key campaign promises from the 2016 election. In the article Cruz wrote;

Meeting the 2025 emissions reduction target alone could subtract $250 billion from our GDP and eliminate 2.7 million jobs. The cement, iron and steel, and petroleum refining industries could see their production cut by 21% 19%, and 11% respectively. To read the article please click here.

I cannot confirm Senator Cruz’s figures but I can say that an estimated 2.5 million South Floridians are at risk of becoming Climate Refugees, of being displaced from our region in a future of rising seas. And that’s just here in South Florida. So if you think about it, and assume his 2.7 million figure is close to correct, then those jobs will be about the same number of people in just our region that will be displaced. The number all over America will be tens of millions of people.

And the impact to our citizens, to the Climate Refugees aside, what will happen to those communities that lose their tax paying citizens and trillions of dollars of improvements in the form of roads, bridges, sidewalks, much less people’s homes and businesses? And faced with those types of losses, not to mention the increased health hazards and changes to America’s agriculture industry, how dare Senator Cruz suggest we not work to cool our climate and transition from a fossil fuel economy such as he seems to so love to a sustainable one. How dare he threaten people and use short term fears to avoid protecting our planet and society for the long term.

That said, I can’t say that I am surprised by Senator Cruz’s support for the fossil fuel industry, an industry that is significantly based in his home state of Texas, nor that of polluting businesses such as the coal and steel industry. His comments embody the same old fashioned, antiquated, thinking that those people protecting coal and fossil fuels of the world have been using since the 1970’s when greenhouse gas became a threat to the future of businesses dating to the industrial revolution.

Well it’s time for a new revolution. The Sustainable Revolution.

I will not, of course, be one bit surprised if we learn this week that the President decides to announce that the United States will not abide by the Paris agreement. He of the belief that all things climate change are nothing more than a ‘Chinese hoax’ or from his ever growing universe of ‘alternative facts’ but, then again, in a way I kind of hope that the President does exactly what Senator Cruz suggested.

Trump backing out of the promises our Country made in Paris, backing out of America being a climate and environmental leader for our planet as should be the case, would create yet one more very big reason to demand change in November 2018’s mid-term election much less for making his a one term administration when we get to vote in the 2020 election.

In my live lectures I often make reference to the fact that none of us travel around in horse drawn carriages as would have been the case in the 1700’s and 1800’s when that was the state of the art in transportation.  And I mention that the people who worked to raise, train and care for horses, or build and drive carriages, all had to transition from those jobs to that of the new automobile industry or other jobs and that, when that happened our country, did not collapse. In fact, you can easily argue that things actually improved. And I mention that another such transition has begun, in this case to electric cars and then, in just a few years, the widespread use of autonomous cars. There is no stopping this exciting progress and that is the way things have always been. Progressing. Evolving.

Buggy Car Tesla

Change, invention and revolution are part of who we are as humans so to keep living in the past, a polluting past, makes no sense. What our country needs are leaders not named Trump, Cruz, Scott or Rubio.

People with the vision to inspire and support a logical transition over time from fossil fuels to sustainable solutions.

The type of leader that can inspire new innovations and our country not with fear but with HOPE that America can be the world leader in sustainable energy and, in doing so, create millions of jobs and new businesses while also correcting our climate crisis.

That is the type of leader my generation needs and deserves, one for the future, not one that is stuck in the past.

At the 2013 Values Voter Summit.

Được ăn cả, ngã về không

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In Vietnamese, Được ăn cả, ngã về không is a proverb meaning ‘sink or swim’ and today, Earth Day 2016, I thought that was a perfect title for this blog. Why use a Vietnamese phrase for a blog title you ask? Well, to answer that question I must first introduce you to my new Vietnamese friends.

Lucie and Kamille were referred to me recently by another friend of mine, Dr. Harold Wanless, Chairman of the University of Miami’s Geology Department and someone who has been bravely sharing his concern over rising sea levels and climate change for many, many decades. Earlier this year Lucie and Kamille contacted Dr. Wanless for his perspective on sea level rise and he, in turn, also referred them to me. I was happy to share all of my work from The Sink or Swim Project with both ladies including access to my website, the power point presentations that I use in my lectures and even sat for an interview with via Skype with they there in Vietnam and me here in Miami.

The result, a remarkable video which I am pleased to share with you today as a gift in celebration of Earth Day, is simply stunning. What is perhaps even more stunning is something that I’ve not yet shared with you and that is that Lucie and Kamille are  still students…in 8th grade.

Over the last two years I’ve given lectures to nearly 10,000 people of all ages and one of the most profound points that I try to make to adults is that ‘Kids Get It’. Lucie and Kamille prove this in very impressive ways with the quality of their video (that’s them you will hear narrating it) and their passion. Today’s youth knows that our (my) generation must solve the problems of global warming and sea rise. Today’s children are not tied to special interests but to a desire to protect our planet. Even the youngest children I speak with know that the smoke pouring out of a factory or cars and trucks is unhealthy and must stop before it’s too late. How could they not?

Lucie and Kamille, 8th graders at  Saigon South International School, vividly illustrate that children all over the world understand the dire importance of this issue and that we do not have an Earth Day, or a week or a year, to waste.

So it is with much continued thanks to Dr. Wanless for his long time leadership in our community and world (as well as his ever so kind support and mentorship to me personally) as well as the extraordinary work of Lucie and Kamille that I am pleased with wish you a Happy Earth Day 2016 and share with you the gift from these talented young filmmakers and environmental heroes.

You can watch Lucie and Kamille’s video here:


FAU CES Sea Level Rise Summit


Allow me to also take this opportunity to share with you the news that The Sink or Swim Project will be participating in the upcoming Sea Level Rise Summit that is being conducted by Florida Atlantic University’s Florida Center for Environmental Studies and that I will be speaking at the conference on May 4th.

While Florida and Alaska are on the opposite ends of the spectrum, they share mutual concerns of the imminent challenges presented by environmental changes. The rapid melting of the Arctic ice is threatening coastal locations globally, and impacts include increased flooding from sea-level rise in Florida to infrastructure instability from permafrost melting in Alaska.

Sustainability professionals from the private sector – including insurance companies, realtors, architects and developers – will join leading scientists, decision-makers and members of the public sector for the third Sea-level Rise Summit from Tuesday, May 3 through Thursday, May 5 at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66, 2301 SE 17th St., in Fort Lauderdale.

Hosted by Florida Atlantic University’s Florida Center for Environmental Studies, the aim of the summit is to compare and contrast the unfolding impacts and response in these different regions to identify and highlight opportunities for building coastal resilience both locally and globally. More information, including a full agenda, can be found here:

Ahead of the Tide


I’m super excited to share the first chapter in a 10 part series special event on sea level rise and hope that you will watch this video, as well as share it with everyone that you know.

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Ahead of the Tide is more than a gorgeous, thought provoking video series. It is a movement, a call to action, which highlights the effects of sea level rise and climate change through the stories and voices of real people here in Florida. I sincerely hope that you will not only watch each video in the series but that you will join the Ahead of the Tide movement because together we can, we must, solve this problem.

Each video in the series is five to seven minutes long and will showcase different issues related to sea level rise including perspectives from scientists, engineers, politicians, educators, authors, activists and many others. These stories vividly paint a picture that can leave no doubt that our planet’s warming temperatures and rising seas are an ever growing, urgent threat that we must begin to solve in meaningful ways before it’s too late.

David Smith is an environmentalist, a skilled pilot, executive producer, director husband and father. He is also the founder of the incredible non-profit organization, CAVU (, that made this film, and that has made dozens of artistic, touching environmental films (if you’ve ever wondered how to tell jaguars apart take a look at their campaign: Cockscomb Jaguar Proud, David is also a dear, caring friend to The Sink or Swim Project and want you to know that, without a doubt, he and his team have made a very important, groundbreaking, environmental films series with their Ahead of the Tide work. Great work David!

Please check out the first episode on our website,, or at You can and should learn more about Ahead of the Tide and join the movement by visiting their webpage at today or contacting us here at

Now let’s all get Ahead of the Tide before it’s too late!

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