We get asked all the time: “Tell me what I can do that will make a difference on climate change?” Easy…watch and listen as one of our favorite Climate Papa’s Paul Reale shares his thoughts and ideas with us all. Each of us CAN make a difference…Also, while you are at it, take a minute to sign on to Our Kids Climate petition calling on world leaders to take strong action on Climate Change!
Give it Up for the Planet
Ten years ago, the threat that the climate crisis posed to the next generation awakened my long-dormant wish to do environmental work. My career change was under way. One of my first roles was as a presenter for what is now the Climate Reality Project. Further roles have included entrepreneur with an energy efficiency start up, a sustainability consultant in the green building industry, a teacher of many subjects in sustainability to real estate professionals, architects, engineers and building operators, and, well, the list goes on. So when people ask me “what do you do”, sometimes I have a hard time being concise.
But one role hasn’t changed for over 17 years: Dad. Or to use the ClimateMama vernacular, a “Climate Papa”.
In September I was offered a TEDx stage in New York City, but not just any stage, one at my daughter’s high school. And yes, I spoke about climate change. Perhaps my favorite part, though, is that I am not listed as “entrepreneur” or “environmentalist” or “consultant” or “teacher”, but simply as “Parent”. It was only fitting.
So here’s a link to my TEDx talk. After having given so many talks on climate change about the consequences we’ll face and the solutions to mitigate them, I decided to speak about something different: what we have to give up. On the surface the answer is easy – “fossil fuel infrastructure”. That may seem to be a no-brainer, but once you tally it all up it’s pretty astounding. But perhaps the most important question implied is whether we’re willing to do what it takes to make a year like 2070, a year the Millennials will live to see, a time for which we can feel a strong sense of optimism.
Paul Reale works in applied research at CUNY Building Performance Laboratory, supervises students at City College’s graduate program in Sustainability in the Urban Environment, trains and consults in teaching techniques for Urban Green Council and manages energy efficiency projects.
As the world gets ready for the Paris United Nations Climate Negotiations, and in light of the recent tragic events in Paris, Paul’s words ring even louder and more clear: “We must organize in large numbers, doing so is the only way we will succeed.” While we now know that the French government will not allow large public demonstrations in Paris, around the world more than 2000 events are planned. Check to see if there is an event planned near you, or organize something yourself if there isn’t! Most events will be taking place the weekend of November 28 and 29th, the opening of the UN Climate Conference, or on December 12th, the last day of the Conference.