Addressing climate change requires public help and hope – Palm Beach Post

by | May 7, 2022 | Climate Change

If there is one takeaway from today’s conversation about climate change, it is the absence of denial about the scope of the challenge. At COP26 last November, heads of state committed to keeping the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement alive. Private sector leaders are also committing trillions of dollars’ worth of climate finance initiatives in pursuit of net zero emissions. This is encouraging progress but not enough.Most now believe that climate change is real and that action to reduce our impact on the planet is not only needed, but possible, when people come together. But what’s also clear is that we’re not providing the public with enough opportunities to move beyond hand-wringing and include them in identifying solutions. We need more settings that allow people to discuss possibility, feel hopeful and engage in action.That’s why the Aspen Institute — in partnership with Mayors Dan Gelber, Daniella Levine-Cava and Francis Suarez — is hosting Aspen Ideas: Climate, a major new public event focused on solutions to the climate crisis, in Miami Beach from May 9-12. With the support of Miami-based institutions including the Knight Foundation, Related Group and the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation, we’re teaming up to put together an annual convening that will, among other areas, address the implications of rising temperatures and sea levels, which are already being felt by this community and so many others around the world.There’s no doubt that South Florida is facing the direct impacts of climate change. But it’s not alone. New York City has experienced historic flooding. Fires currently ravage the Southwest. Alaska is thawing at an alarming pace. We understand the implications of rising temperatures and believe that globally we can not afford to go 1.5 degrees over pre-industrial levels by 2100. If we don’t act, many places will be underwater or permanently changed — and with that will be the catastrophic loss of ecosystems, economies and, yes, human lives.For these reasons, practical solutions are at the heart of Aspen Ideas: Climate, which will bring together voices from across the sciences, policymaking, philanthropy, business, technol …

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