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Climate Countdown: How many years do we have left to act?
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Climate Countdown: How many years do we have left to act?

As a Green Philly reader, you probably do your part. Taking cloth bags to the market, turning the water off when brushing your teeth, and even buying a hybrid car or getting solar panels on the roof of your home.

Although these are all important and laudable things to do, there’s so much more we need to do in order to turn the tide against climate change. Just check some of these key dates being mentioned.

2030: The Point of No Return

According to a research paper by Earth Systems Dynamics, we have 11 years to take definitive action. If we don’t, our climate will fall into a downward spiral of amplification and feedback loops that will spin climate out of control.

2050: The Existential Threat

According to another study by the National Centre for Climate Restoration, climate change will be the existential security threat of our generation.

2100: The End Game

The World Meteorological Society predicts that temperatures will rise 3-5 degrees by 2100 if we don’t take significant action to meet the Paris Climate Accord. Your kids and grandkids will live in this world.

2019: The Time is Now

There’s still hope, ok?!

But we need to move beyond personal sustainability to authentic climate leadership. Let’s not wait to become the sustainability leaders our world needs today.

What can you do right now? There are people out there on the front lines, making moves against climate change – right here in the Philly region. Learn about Philly’s “Green New Deal” to hear about how to be leaders in a sustainable future. Check out those who will share their stories:

  • Saleem Chapman is the Deputy Director of Sustainability at City of Philadelphia and works to fight against climate change for all residents of the city.
  • Tiffany Threadgould from Terracycle takes on the toughest upcycling challenges to prevent waste from getting into our oceans.
  • Megan Garner, a sustainability manager for the school district of Philadelphia advocates for sustainability in the design of schools.
  • Tim McDonald has traveled the country advocating for the use of the Passive House Standard in publicly-funding affordable housing projects.
  • Chad Adams from Ground Plan Studio is changing the way development occurs to reach higher levels of sustainability in built projects.
  • Barbara Moore is a sustainability leader at the Philadelphia Housing Authority bringing energy efficiency to hundreds of new and renovated housing units.

These are just a handful of climate heroes responding to the key dates of 2030, 2050 and 2100 so that our kids and grandkids can enjoy the same, or better, quality of life that we enjoy today.

The remaining question is what will you do? Your government, your community, your company, or your non-profit can do so much in the quest for a sustainable future. Will you step up and become a sustainability leader?

Education is the key to unlocking your future potential.

Enter: Jefferson’s new Sustainability Leadership Program

Jefferson develops committed leaders who are changing the world through innovative market-driven solutions. Jefferson stands ready with its new Sustainability Leadership Program. With our curriculum’s project-based approach, you will build vital skills in problem scoping, systems modeling, solution framing, and change management, and immediately apply them to the sustainability challenges facing your own organization or an assigned client.

Jefferson is among the first in higher education to offer stackable certificates, so students can create the degree that is best for them. This part-time evening and weekend program is designed for working people who want to make a difference. We’ll give you the knowledge and skills to move your organization to the forefront of the sustainability movement.

Learn more about Jefferson’s graduate certificates in Sustainability LeadershipPassive House DesignLiving Building DesignResilient Communities, and Green Building Operations.


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Julie Hancher
Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher

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