The decade of 1998-2007 was the warmest on record, and according to data the warming trend over the last 50 years is nearly twice that for the last 100 years. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level."
While there are certainly a number of valid arguments regarding the causes of climate change, there is no denying the fact that global warming is occurring. For those who would claim otherwise, dual memberships with the Flat Earth Society are still available.
The Youth Summit was inspiring, intriguing and innovative. The level of enthusiasm was incredible, especially when considering the issues that the current generation will be facing.
At the gathering, I first spoke with Zac Berger from Lake Placid, who was instrumental in organizing last year's inaugural event. The enthusiasm and ideas that were generated by the initial event were a concern of his.
He explained, "We want to overcome some of the apathy that we faced in regard to our proposed actions such as composting and school gardens, recycling and energy saving measures."
"But, I believe the Youth Climate Summit is just the beginning of change and that if we accept the challenge as an opportunity; there is so much more that we can achieve."
I left the Summit with the knowledge that the next generation is willing to step up to the plate to confront what will likely be the greatest challenge we have ever faced.
My grandparents fought in the Great War (WWI) and my father and Uncles all served in the War to End all Wars (WWII). I came of age during Vietnam and lived through the end of the Cold War.