Following Sandy, Israel to Lead Summit on Sustainability Innovation
by Ben Jablonski
Proven solutions exist to help address human sustainability while politics prevents adoption in USA. Leading figures from the USA and Israel to gather in Red Rock, Nevada for an international dialogue concerning the future of energy, water, and food
While the Northeast continues to clean up the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the loss of life and unprecedented level of destruction have brought attention to human sustainability. With many residents suffering lack of water, power and long gas lines, New Yorkers were made to feel the impact of scarcity first hand.
Mayor Bloomberg called for the need to “take immediate action” on climate change as a basis for his nomination of President Obama. This statement merely re-ignited the partisan debate over whether climate change is a real issue.
Whether or not one agrees climate change is real, it is undisputable that in 1920 when our grandparents were born there were approximately 2 billion people on earth. When we were born there were 4 billion. When our first child will be born 7 billion, and if we’re lucky enough to have grandchildren there may be 9 billion people at their birth.
We are demanding more. More food. More fuel. More water. More everything.
This path is unsustainable and we need to leave a better world for our grandchildren.
Innovation as an answer – coalition outside the beltway is forming
One of the best ways to combat the challenges presented by human sustainability is to increase innovation. Better agricultural methods, energy efficient transportation and water reuse technology are a few of the many examples of innovation that are improving our ability to preserve scarce natural resources. While this innovation exists, what is missing is a grass-roots movement of concerned citizens outside the beltway with clear goals to push for the adoption of these solutions.
To kick-start this, a group led by businessman and philanthropist Ronald S. Lauder, of Estee Lauder & Co; ‘water czar’ Patricia Mulroy, head of Southern Nevada Water, Carolyn Goodman Mayor of Las Vegas and prominent Israeli officials including Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Environmental Minster Gilad Erdan and Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon together with a group of leading sustainable innovators including CNN Green Pioneer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Yosef Abramowitz, head of Arava Power Solar Company have proposed a Summit to be held to discuss how America can be more innovative when it comes to sustainability.
“This Summit will be different as it will reach out to civic leaders in the wider community and won’t focus on the politics but rather on implementing innovative scalable solutions that can help us meet the challenges of water, food and energy,” said Ronald Lauder who will serve as Honorary Chair of the Summit.
The gathering will take place in April 2013 in the desert of Red Rock Canyon, Southern Nevada. Having the climate of the desert of the USA is intended to focus concerned individuals from around the globe of the challenges at hand.
Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan stated: “Israel is a leader in sustainable innovation and we are proud to participate and share our solutions.”
Patricia Mulroy, General Manager of Southern Nevada Water stated: “We in Southern Nevada have gone to great lengths to live sustainably in what is one of the most unforgiving climates in North America. The community’s willingness to come together to meet and surpass our water conservation goals is a testament to our understanding of what it means to live in a sustainable manner, for the benefit of current and future generations.”
The Summit will be coordinated by Jewish National Fund, a UN NGO. Since its inception the Jewish National Fund, that has planted 250 million trees in Israel, built over 200 water reservoirs creating in excess of 34 billion gallons of water and invested in Israel’s first commercial solar field. The website for the event is here.
Let us leave behind the election and the politics it brings, heal the scars of Hurricane Sandy, and focus on proven sustainability solutions. We have the opportunity and the tools to preserve our diminishing resources, scale technology, innovate together and leave a better world for our children.