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Florida Gulf Coast University is a model for adapting to climate change

Florida Gulf Coast University is a model for adapting to climate change

Workers install solar panels in 2009 at the FGCU solar farm, in front of the university.

Lina Ramirez Granada and Dr. Jennifer Jones

Workers install solar panels in 2009 at the FGCU solar farm, in front of the university.

Our planet is flooding, on fire, and life as we know it is changing, but we cannot let complacency get the best of us. Despite the continuing human-driven destruction of Earth, the single greatest threat we face is the idea the battle has already been lost and we are powerless to change our fate.

David Wallace-Wells, author of The New York Times bestseller “The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming,” recently visited Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. He left much of his audience in despair, questioning if there is anything they could possibly do to avoid the hellish future depicted in his book.

But all is not lost. We can chart a different path; we can create and harness hope to make the world a better place. A new year brings the power of renewed hope and new beginnings. Hope is about creative possibilities and it comes from within each of us. We create our own hope by identifying personal goals and pathways to reach them.

Hope in the face of a climate crisis means being part of the solution here in Southwest Florida and all of Florida, such as working toward better land use, green infrastructure design and solutions-focused education.

Lina Ramirez Grandad

Politicians, large companies and those unwilling to change their ways will continue to push change-seekers down by berating them with fears of economic impact and lost revenue, but the reality is this: If we don’t begin investing in our long-term future, it’s just the opposite. When our land use and infrastructure are designed with an eye toward nature, it can protect people and property from negative impacts, as well as reduce its own contribution to climate change.

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