In Miami, people are sharing their personal experiences about climate change.
Adam from California did not have a family reunion at the family cottage in California this year. He smiles happily as he talks about boating, riding seadoos and enjoying the lake four short years ago. Today the lake is a desert.
Grey from Miami looks uncomfortable. So I ask why. His shoes are wet. He lives three blocks inland from the coast. It rained this morning and the water comes up from underground and floods his street. It is particularly worse this week because the rain combined with the now regular high tide flooding.
Kitesh from Calcutta spoke about how the extreme heat killed his grandmother. There was nothing that they could do to help.
We need to keep talking and be honest. Is your weather different than it was even four years ago? Has your immediate world changed?
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida spoke. He discussed the beautiful history of the Miami River. The mouth of the river was first settled around 300BC by the Tequesta indians. They chose the river because it gave them fresh water and access to fishing both saltwater and freshwater. Many people followed and also chose to settle along the Miami River. The challenge today is as the Atlantic Ocean continues to rise, there is a very real risk that the freshwater source will become saltwater. And it will no longer be drinkable.
Senator Nelson talked about how there is now a very real concern that Miami could become Atlantis and all its great beauty fall below the sea.
The mood in the room was sombre. And then, Senator Nelson smiled. He said that Florida has options. Florida could choose to move away from coal producing energy and the Sunshine state could become a leader in solar energy. He urged the people of Florida to be a part of the democratic process.
Senator Nelson challenged people, regardless of their political philosophy to rally for the people who feel that there is no hope.
We each need to be honest. Our world is changing quickly. We need to talk about it. We need to share our personal experiences and help others see the link to our carbon economy. And we need to rally together to create the green economic revolution.
We need to speak up for our friends.
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