ECCC 2019 SYMPOSIUM: The State of Our Climate
Story by: Christine Masseus | Instagram @christinemasseus
This past weekend, The Cleo Institute hosted the 2019 Empowering Capable Climate Communicators (ECCC) Symposium at Florida International University’s eco-friendly campus of Biscayne Bay. The symposium, in addition to its curated educational panels, featured many of the world’s leading climate researchers, such as Terry Tamminen, CEO of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Dr. Michael E. Mann and Chad Frishmann.
The ECCC symposium allowed plenty of information to be exchanged among leading industry experts and environmentally conscious individuals. The conference included talks on several topics from “How our changing climate is impacting our Economy & Tourism” to “The Current Impacts Climate Change has on our Biodiversity (globally & locally), from our coral reefs to our Everglades”
The ECCC symposium covered how climate change affects public health, our economy and tourism industry, our water supply, air supply, mental health, and overall well-being.
Florida is ground zero for climate impacts and as the scientific community continues to sound warnings of climate change and how the earth’s glaciers are melting at rapid speeds, the Sunshine State is beginning to feel its effects.
Dr. Cheryl Holder who is an Internist and Founder of Florida Clinicians for Climate Action was featured on a panel discussing “Climate Change Effects on Health ” along with Dr. Jefry Biehler, FIU School of Medicine Faculty, Dr. Carissa Caban, and Mental Health & Member Physicians for Social Responsibility. Moderated by Program Specialist, Michele Lozano, the panel discussed how climate change is the biggest threat to our public health. Climate change affects the quality of the air we breathe and the weather patterns. Poor air quality has a negative impact on the human respiratory and cardiovascular system.
Many people exposed to climate-related disasters experience stress and serious mental health issues. Depending on the type of disaster, these consequences include post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and general anxiety. Children who have been exposed to pollutions are more likely to deal with anxiety and depression among other mental illnesses.
Climate change also affects our food, nutrition and distribution system. Our South Florida is home to the Everglades and due to saltwater intrusion into our aquifers (which supply South Florida’s drinking water), our water wells are being contaminated.
Throughout the symposium, it was clear that we are in the beginning stages of what is yet to come and in order to take any steps it is important that we do something about it now. We have to use our voice to create the change we want to see, elected officials who support our narrative and on every level.
WE NEED TO BE PROACTIVE AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT AND BECOME PART OF THE SOLUTION
To take the first steps the CLEO Institute has some suggestions:
Become A Climate Speaker
Sign the Florida Climate Pledge.
Reduce your carbon footprint.
Together we’ll create a better future for tomorrow