A Global Warning Graduation Speech for the Class of 2099

A Global Warning Graduation Speech for the Class of 2099
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Here’s a virtual speech by blogger Dan Bloom addressing Tuft University’s (his alma mater) graduating class of 2099.Interesting piece on what he sees as the future at the end of the next Century.

Good afternoon, Class of 2099,

I can’t be here in person to address you, since I passed into oblivion long ago. But as a member of the graduating class of 1971 at my own beloved alma mater in Boston, I wanted to leave you with a brief message – from the past to the future – about global warming and
climate change.

As the class of 2099, you are about to enter the 22nd Century in a few more months, and you will bring with you not only your university experience but also your career expectations and personal anxieties as citizens living on a planet in the midst of a climate crisis. I’m sure you’ve heard this term a lot in the past four years – “climate crisis” – but you should know that in my days as a student, we never used the phrase. Back then, we had not even heard of the term yet!

Back then, of course, we were focused on terms such as Cold War, nuclear winter, war on poverty, racism, the oil shock, the Middle East situation, and later on, towards of our “three score and ten” on Earth, newer terms such as 911, terrorism and global warming.

I’m not around now, but I hope you can read my message online and perhaps view it on a digital recording in a public library. Before I continue, I just want to take a few moments here to wish you all the best of luck in your future life and the best of health to enjoy the luck that I am wishing for you. May all your dreams come true, and then some!

Members of the Class of 2099, you are living in a very crucial time in the history of humankind. Your world stands at the threshold of a period of human history when very important decisions will have to be made about the use of fossil fuels and the “consume! slash! burn!” lifestyle that you have come to expect.

I wonder: do the names James Lovelock or James Hansen or Al Gore still ring a bell in your generation now, or have new faces and names replaced these far-seeing men? Is that book by Mark Lynas, titled “Six Degrees”, still in print, or has a new besteller on climate change become the must-read of your generation? Is that documentary from 2006, “An Inconvenient Truth”, still in circulation? And what about Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The 11th Hour”? Have you ever heard of the movie, or has it been all but forgotten in your day and age?

By the way, have you men and women of the Class of 2099 heard by now about such global warming adaptation strategies as “sustainable population retreats” in northern regions, once referred to as “polar
cities”? The terms were coined back in 2006 and some people blogge them for a couple of years before mainstream scientists and engineers went even deeper into the concepts involved.

Class of 2099, I want to leave you with seven words: “We must tighten
the noose around coal”.

Dr. Jesse Ausubel of Rockefeller University in the U.S. wrote those words more than 100 years ago, and they were prophetic. Has your world tightened the noose around coal? Has your world started to tackle the vexing problems of overpopulation, climate change and the creation of a sustainable economy? Is global warming something that will shape your future, or are the denialists out there still complaining that it
is a hoax?

Whatever your own personal views are about global warming, pro or con, or just sitting on the fence in the middle of the debate, you should know this: there is not much time left. I hope your generation finds a way to stop the burning of fossil fuels and also finds ways to mitigate the impact of climate change on your future world. I just said that “there is not much time left”. Maybe I should have said “time is running out”. Or maybe I should have said: “Time has run out.”

Whatever. Class of 2099, go out and help create your world. Good luck
and God bless!

Vancouver Social Media

A Global Warning Graduation Speech for the Class of 2099

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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