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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1CVI4RKvbE
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: http://www.ces.fau.edu/arctic-florida/