Bridgehampton’s South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO) strives to make a difference in the world through educating the public and raising awareness about environmental issues. Their annual Climate Change Conversation is a free event that explores global warming and how the East End can help make a difference. This year, the Climate Change Conversation on Saturday, November 2 will focus on Project Drawdown, a group of activists that are looking to stop global warming (learn more at drawdown.org). SOFO Executive Director Frank Quevedo believes this year’s event is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the dangers of climate change.
What are you most excited about for this year’s Climate Change Conversation?
I’m most excited that we are continuing SOFO’s mission in providing these unique opportunities to gather bipartisan minds in discussing ways to combat climate change issues. Updates and information from local innovators, environmental leaders and the public is sure to be an educational experience for all attendees.
In the short term, how has climate change touched the East End?
Coastal communities, such as the East End of Long Island, are the most vulnerable areas to be affected by climate change impacts, now and in the future. We have been touched with severe flooding and coastal erosion in recent years. Also, patterns in fish migration, bird migration and the overall biodiversity of our natural environment are changing and diminishing rapidly due to climate change impacts.
Talk a little about Project Drawdown.
We are delighted to partner with Project Drawdown, not just for this event but also for future events and workshops. Project Drawdown, led by activist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken, was started in 2013 and has since brought together 65 researchers from across the globe with 128 experts in climate, sustainability, academia and business.
Together, this group developed a unique global systems model, evaluating 80 technologies and practices from the ground up, from innovative energy, and agricultural methods to enhanced environmental conservation and restoration programs. After several local Drawdown introductions and workshops in Southampton and Sag Harbor, Drawdown East End was formed and has emerged as a team with a mission to inspire and support our communities to become actively engaged in solutions that reduce greenhouse gases and achieve the Drawdown Plan.
Why is it important that we are informed and educated about climate change?
To be well informed and educated is the most important element to the global response to this issue. Once a problem is known, solutions can be made.
What would surprise most people about climate change?
That it’s human induced, it’s been ongoing for decades and if we don’t do anything about it now, the health of our planet will not be able to sustain life on Earth. The future of sustaining our species is dependent on a healthy and biodiverse planet.
How can the next generation help prevent climate disaster?
Once our generation and the next can grasp what is at stake for their health and their lives, and for the health and lives of their children, they will do everything in their power to find solutions to prevent climate change disasters and better protect the living world.
What else would you like our readers to know about this year’s Climate Change Conversation?
It’s a bipartisan discussion, it’s free and open to the public. Participants will be given the opportunity to ask questions to local environmental leaders and it will provide the public an opportunity to discuss and implement household and individual solutions to help combat global warming.
The Fifth Annual Climate Change Conversation, sponsored by Dan’s Hamptons Media, takes place at SOFO, 377 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, on Saturday, November 2. For a complete schedule, visit sofo.org.