Looking around our world today, it may seem at times as if humanity is losing its ability to solve some of the large-scale, systemic problems that we face. And when it comes to the climate crisis, there are certainly times when it is tempting to feel that the danger is growing faster than we are yet implementing solutions.
And of course, President Trump and his administration have tried to undermine global climate action — even as climate-related extreme events are becoming more severe and more frequent. Just in the past few months in the U.S. alone, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria — and the unprecedented fires in California — have destroyed homes and businesses, taken lives, and produced hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.
Clearly, we are at a pivotal moment in our movement to solve the climate crisis. Yet despite these serious challenges, I am very optimistic that we will solve the climate crisis. And one reason is that so many people from all around the world have stepped forward to sustain the momentum.
We have seen an upsurge in activism here in the United States this year across many issues, and the public has been especially vocal in demanding leadership on the climate crisis. Moreover, many of our largest states, hundreds of our cities, and thousands of businesses have filled the gap left by President Trump’s abandonment of leadership.
This phenomenon is not unique to the United States. Around the world, state and local elected officials, business leaders, activists and others are raising up their voices and wielding their political and economic power to champion the transition to a clean energy economy.
This heartening phenomenon will be showcased today, starting at 6:00pm ET, when we kick off our annual 24 Hours of Reality program, a 24-hour broadcast that spans the globe to bring viewers the inspiring true stories of the people and organizations who are standing up to meet the greatest challenge we have ever faced.
This year’s theme is “Be the Voice of Reality.” The stories featured throughout the broadcast are just a sampling of the incredible number of voices speaking truth to power around the world.
*In Wyoming, renewable energy companies and investors are harnessing the human potential and technical expertise of former fossil-fuel workers to establish a thriving wind energy sector.
- In Mexico City, researchers are exploring how to repurpose prickly pear byproducts to generate cactus power.
- In Indonesia, the island of Sumba is working to leapfrog dirty fossil fuels as it expands access to electricity, with the aim of going 100 percent renewable by 2025.
- In Malaysia, underprivileged youth are being trained as highly skilled solar engineers through an eighteen-month, expenses-paid “Solar Academy.”
- And In the UK, the Church of England is helping its 16,000 churches embody the values of their faith and implement sustainability at every level.
Make no mistake: we will win this fight. But we have to win it in time — and much depends on whether or not we are willing to get involved and act with the urgency that this crisis demands.
People at all levels, from multinational corporations to community organizers, continue to charge ahead as climate champions, armed with the undeniable reality of climate solutions. From boardrooms to town halls, we are fighting like our world depends on it. Because it does.