A summit held at Eckerd College on October 6th aimed to not only educate about climate science but also focus on tangible solutions.
The event grew out of a conversation with Governor Rick Scott in which he indicated that as a non-scientist he could not understand the dynamics of climate science. Rather, he urged scientists to focus on solutions. Knowing how important the topic is, faculty members at Eckerd
decided to organize an event to explain it in a way that both scientists and non-scientists can rally behind.
In Florida especially, issues like rising sea level and a predicted increase in the severity and frequency of hurricanes pose real threats to health and safety.
"We’re really the ground zero for the impacts of climate change," says David Hastings, Ph.D. professor of marine science and chemistry at Eckerd College. "As scientists, we’re not just interested in focusing on the science but also in identifying the solutions that will mitigate the worst impact."
Solutions include both short and long term changes that will not only create new business opportunities but jobs as well. Entrepreneurs can explore innovative ways to use solar power as an alternative energy source. Another opportunity lies with using algae to create biofuels.
Eckerd hopes to bring forth the message that not only is an enhanced focus on climate change needed at the policy and business level, but there are also things individuals can be doing to reduce energy consumption such as installing more energy efficient windows and roofs.
The summit was hosted in partnership with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
and the Natural Resources Defense Council