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24 Hours of Reality: Reasons to Be Hopeful in the Face of Climate Change

Climate

Today at noon, the Climate Reality Project will kick off 24 Hours of Reality: 24 Reasons for Hope, our fourth-annual 24-hour live broadcast on climate change. We’ve had great success with millions of viewers around the world for three years now, so naturally this year we are doing something different.

In the past, we’ve talked about Dirty Weather and the Cost of Carbon, focusing our broadcast on the negative impacts of climate change. This year, we are bringing you a different message. We are shifting the conversation to instead focus the spotlight on the reasons to be hopeful in the face of climate change. We hope to inspire viewers worldwide to join us in this effort as we celebrate innovative solutions, the courageous leaders, and the benefits of climate action.

Every hour during the broadcast, former U.S. Vice President and Climate Reality Chairman Al Gore will introduce a new reason to be hopeful about solving the climate crisis. Then we’ll spend the hour explaining why viewers should be hopeful, by featuring reports with activists, town hall-style discussions with experts like Reed Hundt and Dan Esty, and one-on-one interviews with celebrities like Maggie Grace and Bradley Whitford, man-on-the-street interludes with Ian Somerhalder, and artistic performances, covering everything from the benefits we are already seeing to the leaders in the global arena.

Click here for a full schedule of the hour-by-hour broadcast.

In addition to former Vice President Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project, a variety of international celebrities, musicians, advocates and other special guests will join the broadcast, including filmmaker Vanessa Black, singer-songwriter Jason Mraz, actor Mark Ruffalo and featured partners like Interfaith Power and Light, among many others.

But the broadcast won’t just be interesting people talking about what they’re doing—throughout the program we’ll be asking viewers to do their part, by dedicating a day to making a difference in the climate fight. Climate change is a massive and highly complex problem, but the combined efforts from viewers around the world help in hundreds of different ways. We will suggest actions which you can take, but you can also contribute in your own way using your own time: if you are a parent, maybe you’ll choose to organize a renewable energy fair at school; a young professional might pledge to become a Climate Reality Leader; a student might work to elect a clean energy candidate … Each and every one of these actions plays an important part in this global fight.

It is my hope that we can come together as a global community and make a commitment to fighting climate change every day for the next year.

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A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

Michael Schade / Twitter

At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.

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