Climate change and global warming have become crucial issues for me and in many ways, I owe it to the Climate Reality Project’s presentation during the Social Good Summit in September. I realized we can all do more and I was inspired in particular by Climate Reality’s CEO, Maggie Fox. If you have tuned in to 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report, you might have seen me hosting a panel in which she spoke about why she thinks we have been slow to take notice about this issue in the US.
I was able to interview Maggie to know more about her, why climate change is important to her and the Climate Reality Project‘s plans to keep raising awareness.
Why do you think it’s important for people to learn more about global warming and climate change?
Maggie Fox: Unfortunately, while the science has long been settled on the fact that climate change is real, happening now, and caused by human activities, there is still a loud and too powerful denier industry out there. The Dirty Energy industry has spent hundreds of millions to foment denial and doubt about whether climate change is even happening. It’s the same playbook the tobacco industry used for years to hide the health impacts of cigarettes. Our goal is to break through the fog and shine a light on the reality of climate change and the available solutions.
Where did the idea of doing a 24-hour event come from?
Maggie Fox: 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report, a worldwide, online live event on November 14 and 15, is convening 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. You can learn more about the event on our website, climaterealityproject.org.
Our event takes a full 24 hours because it circles the globe and moves across every time zone, beginning and ending in New York City. Along the way, we highlight the impacts of extreme weather and climate change in every region of the world, from Superstorm Sandy in New York City to the severe threat of sea level rise in Bangladesh. We show that it is a crisis that affects all of humanity, and we are united in our work to solve it.
Our goal is to break through the fog and shine a light on the reality of climate change and the available solutions.
After the broadcast, what will Climate Reality be working on?
Maggie Fox: We will be working on a variety of different initiatives around the world to spread the truth about climate change, and you will hear more in the coming weeks and months. I’ll name just a couple of examples. This fall and winter, we’re partnering with filmmakers at Warren Miller Entertainment as top winter sports athletes join us as “climate ambassadors,” for an exciting campaign called I Am Pro Snow.
Meanwhile, are launching an innovative, web-based resource called Reality Drop, which will arm people with the facts about climate change and the tools to stand up to the deniers and shut them down. We’ll also be holding new trainings for Climate Leaders who are building our movement, and an online training that will allow even more people to help us spread the truth about climate change. Much more is still to come: Stay tuned!
We show that it is a crisis that affects all of humanity, and we are united in our work to solve it.
On a personal level, why do you care so deeply about global warming and climate change?
Maggie Fox: I have spent a happy portion of my lifetime mountaineering, leading expeditions, and exploring some of the most beautiful and wild places in the world. A few years ago, I flew over Glacier National Park, a place where I have hiked and climbed, and I could not believe the change I had seen. Where once there had been deep, vast glaciers, there were simply a few small snowfields. The glaciers I had climbed just a few years prior had simply melted away. And this is both incomprehensible and frightening to me.
Despite our technological advances, we are still deeply connected to the natural world. Climate change affects our natural landscape, the ecosystems around us, and ultimately all of humanity in profound ways. That makes it one of the most pressing crises we face as a species and a planet. It is the challenge that brings us all together to solve it.