Statement at Lafayette College on Climate Change

Thank you very much. I’m honored to be here and to present this talk, which I call “Puerto Rico: The Climate Canary.” A canary is a small bird that is known for its singing. Coal miners used to take canaries with them into their mines. If dangerous gasses were released, the canary would die -- a signal to the miners that they had to immediately leave or else they, too, would die. Puerto Rico is our canary. And its fate is a signal to all of us seated here that we, too, are in grave danger.

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Why we all need some challenge in our lives

It's easy to fantasize about a life without any type of worry or struggle. Our popular conception of heaven is a place in the clouds filled with angels lying around, with no one doing anything other than the possible strumming of a harp. And our lives are filled with so much stress and worry -- the complete absence of any challenge can seem like a dream come true.

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