I'm writing this from New York City, where only two weeks ago, the most destructive storm in the region's history devastated communities up and down the East Coast, stretching from the Caribbean to Canada. Superstorm Sandy caused tens of billions of dollars in damage, leaving no doubt that climate change is real and on our doorsteps—and the time for action is now.
Thankfully, the power is back on in most of New York City and New Jersey, and some people are able to return to the rhythm of daily life. But for tens of thousands of people here, a return to normal is very far away. It is a vivid reminder that there has never been a more important time for all of us to address the climate crisis together.
That’s why beginning today, Wednesday, November 14, The Climate Reality Project will harness the power of leading voices from around the globe in a 24-hour live broadcast called 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report.
Broadcast from New York and incorporating more than 100 experts from around the world, the event will explore how individuals, communities, and countries are affected by climate change—and how they are innovating, adapting, and showing us the way forward. This global event will convene many of the world’s most powerful voices from science, government, business, foreign policy, and culture, in a timely dialogue about how climate change impacts all of us.
To be clear, extreme weather has always been with us. But man-made climate change makes really bad weather even more extreme, and makes it occur more frequently. As dirty energy sources pollute our atmosphere, we are left with dirty weather. The New York region has a lot of hard choices to make about strengthening its defenses for a future hurricane or superstorm. But even more importantly, the impact of this storm is now posing critical choices for the leaders of this country and the world.
With the newly re-elected administration in Washington, D.C., I am hopeful that our leaders will heed the increasingly urgent call for nationwide action. So far, efforts both in the United States and internationally have failed to match the scale of the threat. Yet the destructive impacts of extreme weather are bringing new urgency to a very real crisis.
During 24 Hours of Reality, we will share stories about the impacts of dirty weather around the world. And together, we will call on our leaders to stand up and take action to stop the deterioration of our climate.
The reality is that our climate system is global, and the changes occurring far away have impacts close at hand. People of all walks of life, in all time zones, and throughout every country must come together to confront this challenge. That's why we will engage in a global conversation on climate change—spreading the truth about the reality we face and the need to work toward solutions.
Join us online beginning this Wednesday for 24 Hours of Reality, and help us lead the conversation toward action—both in the U.S. and around the world.
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Maggie L. Fox is the President and CEO of The Climate Reality Project. Since joining the group in early 2009, Maggie has led a campaign to help citizens around the world discover the truth about the climate crisis and take meaningful steps to bring about change.