MIAMI BEACH, Florida. – The Climate Action movement is coming to Miami.
Starting Monday, an international forum on climate change will take center stage here in South Florida, with Miami Beach hosting the first-ever Aspen Ideas Climate Action Conference.
” It’s really important. I mean, the entire South Florida community is going to be impacted by the impacts of climate change. And so the more we can do now, the better off they will be in 5, 10, 20 years,” said Greg Gershuny, executive director of energy and environment at the Aspen Institute.
The non-profit Aspen Global Institute will schedule its Ideas Summit for four days starting Monday with many of the world’s descending thinkers, policymakers, scientists, business and technology leaders, environmental advocates and activists on Miami Beach, widely considered ground zero for the places already experiencing the global impacts of climate change.
“It’s not going to be about doom and gloom, it’s going to be about hope and optimism,” Gershuny said. “We have the technologies, we have the policies that we need to solve the climate crisis — we just need to have the courage and the coalitions to do it.”
“There will be a lot of programming in the convention center — both here and on the New World campus,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said.
Gelber urges all South Florida residents to participate in these very important conversations, either in person or by watching the live stream online, with some of the most important events being simulcast for free on the giant wall outside. from the New World Center to Soundscape Park.
This is so important since we are all part of the solution.
“We want to democratize it so that everyone can participate because it’s not a problem for some, and not for everyone — it’s a challenge for the whole world, and it’s important that the whole world is finding a way to put their arms around it and muster and muster the political will to solve it,” Gelber said.
And it’s not the first global climate forum to focus on South Florida.
“We’ve been very effective in sounding the alarm here and around the world,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said.
On Monday, more than 100 local, national and global leaders gathered at the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami for a conference on global resilience.
“It’s high time we had this conversation,” said Arsht, a philanthropist and avid patron of the arts. “The rising sea that we see here right in Miami Beach, we’ve known that for quite a while.”
Not only that, but South Florida, like the rest of the planet, is getting hotter and hotter.
On average, South Florida has seen an increase of 2 degrees Fahrenheit every year since 1985, combined with an increase in humidity.
This prompted Miami-Dade to officially launch a public service campaign for Miami’s hot season from May 1 through Halloween — and we’re not talking about basketball.
“It’s critical,” said Miami-Dade heat manager Jane Gilbert. “Historically we’ve had seven days a year with a heat index of 105 – over the next 30 years that will increase to 88 days.”
Now that Aspen is bringing the climate action movement here, the eyes of the world will be watching to see how South Florida is stepping up.
“We can learn from others, but we want others to come and learn from us, and Aspen brings people from all over the world to share ideas and best practices, and what better place than here,” Levine Cava said.
“The alarms have been ringing loudly for many, many years,” said Yoca Arditi-Rocha, executive director of the Cleo Institute. “I think it’s eventually becoming more common, and obviously we see the real impacts through our windows, whether it’s extreme heat, sea level rise, chronic flooding on a sunny day – we only see the real impacts of the climate crisis as we speak.
And because it will be a permanent mission, it is only the first of many Aspen Ideas climate conferences that will be held here in South Florida.
Miami Beach’s mayor calls it the Art Basel of the climate action movement, with more than just conversations, but art installations, concerts and social gatherings happening across the city.
Click here to see a full Aspen Ideas conference program, including information on how to purchase tickets and how to watch online.
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