The Prism: Every Side of the Story

Guest Speaker: Ryan Madden

The LWA Upper School students met in Hessel Hall for a presentation given by Ryan Madden, Sustainability Organizer for the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC), discussing climate change and its effects on the planet if a plan of action is not implemented.

A Binghamton University graduate, Madden talked about climate change along with ideas for policy change in the State of New York, in particular, a focus on creating jobs in renewable energy with funds coming from fining large corporations for extensive carbon emissions. According to Madden, this would bring New York State closer to becoming carbon free and significantly impact the country in a positive way, as NY is one of the top contributors to carbon emissions.

Along with discussing his work in New York, Madden talked about the effects of climate change on a global level by explaining its impact on the intensity of natural disasters. He used examples such as desertification in Africa, the drought in Syria, numerous deaths in Bangladesh due to high levels of heat, and record breaking hurricanes in America and Puerto Rico. After detailing the global impacts, Madden turned his attention to world policy, talking about certain nations taking more responsibility for an increase in fossil fuels than other nations.

He provided the Upper School audience with information about the impact on the planet if it reaches a 1.5 degree Celsius increase in temperature. He noted that there  will be drastic changes to the environment- among those changes, 90% of coral reefs would be destroyed and all insects would lose their habitats. In order to prevent our climate from reaching this temperature, changes would have to be made, including reforestation, using public transportation, and pricing carbon at a higher level. According to Madden, these changes will help the cause and could even decrease the global temperature. Throughout his presentation Madden referenced specific data that indicates the dire consequences of an increase in the Earth’s temperature. He also detailed policies for the State of New York to enact for a positive impact.

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