Today, every issue is a climate issue. It’s no longer just higher temperatures, wildfires, and rising sea levels, but issues we previously thought had nothing to do with climate change—like the severity of the seasonal flu or invasive species in our farmlands. The way we prepare for annual hurricane seasons or flooding in certain parts of the world will all have to change. Problems formerly considered purely social or economic are now climate problems, and how we deal with them will resonate for generations. This is literally humanity’s greatest challenge.
That’s why we’re hosting RE:WIRED Green, a one-day event bringing together creative individuals from a wide array of fields who are working on these challenges and have solutions in hand. From food insecurity and inequity to comprehensive energy solutions, all the way to technologies both new and old that can help reduce the impact of our already warming climate.
We’re gathering scientists, entrepreneurs, innovators, and activists to discuss everything from carbon capture and de-extinction to synthetic foods and youth activism. Our goal is to highlight ways that human ingenuity can help secure our future. By the end of the day, we will have heard about actionable, useful steps on every level—personal, local, and global—where we can all make a tangible difference.
The day’s activities are organized around three big themes:
I. Avoiding the Worst-Case Scenario
In our first programming block of the day, we focus on what people can do today, right now, to minimize the negative impacts of climate change across the globe, and how today’s changes can ease us into greater, more substantial change on a broad scale.
WIRED senior writer Lauren Goode will host a series of talks and conversations with people like paleontologist and explorer Kenneth Lacovara, who’ll discuss the fragile history of life on Earth, and photographer Camille Seaman, who has spent years documenting our changing world through her lens and will share some of her most striking work with us.
Michèle Koppes, professor of glaciology at the University of British Columbia, will discuss the impact of rising sea levels and disappearing glaciers on communities that rely on the seas for tourism and their economies, and the impact on all of us who rely on fresh water to drink.
Next, WIRED’s global editorial director, Gideon Lichfield, will lead a panel discussion with Sylvia Earle, president and chair of Mission Blue, an organization fighting to protect marine ecosystems, and Sophia Kianni, founder of the Climate Cardinals and US representative to the UN Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change, on what a new generation of climate activists can learn from their forebears who have been on the front lines for years.
Finally, Stephen Palumbi, professor of biology and marine science at Stanford, will walk us through the effort to revive and rejuvenate damaged ecosystems, from helping nature rebuild coral reefs that can withstand rising sea temperatures to reintroducing biodiversity to wild spaces using gene banks, frozen zoos, and more.
II. The Future of Food
Our second segment focuses on the future of agriculture, which today is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. The sessions in this block are focused on how our food supply system can adapt to once fertile lands becoming unsuitable for farming, overuse of pesticides and fertilizers, and of course, the demand for more food to feed growing populations around the globe, as well as resistance by wealthy nations to changing their eating habits.
Leading the session is WIRED senior editor Michael Calore, who will make music with plants, live on stage. Then special projects editor Alan Henry hosts a series of discussions on the future of global agriculture. Ertharin Cousin, chief executive of Food Systems for the Future, will discuss the pressures that global communities—especially poorer ones—face from war, supply chain issues, and a changing environment, but he also comes armed with solutions from those same communities and how they’re mobilizing to make sure everyone is fed and healthy without destroying their lands in the process.