Students and community leaders packed the house on January 13 for the first Community Conversation of 2020, an event sponsored by The San Diego Foundation and hosted in partnership with KPBS and the National Conflict Resolution Center.

The event, which was held at the International Hall at UC San Diego, highlighted how the negative effects of climate change impact all San Diegans – from declining water resources and increased health risks, to devastating wildfires and coastal flooding.

I’ve spent just enough time with climate scientists to be terrified of our future, but I can’t live in that place of fear.”
Climate Change Community Hero
Amber Pairis

As the San Diego, 2050 is Calling. How Will We Answer? report found, our changing climate impacts the region’s environment, communities and economy in various ways, and the Community Conversation revealed just how much more work there is to be done.

The public event featured an interview with KPBS Roundtable host Mark Sauer and Community Hero Amber Pairis, a changemaker who has spent her career building consensus among leaders from all sectors to support a community-centered approach to climate change.

After working for Governor Jerry Brown as assistant secretary for climate change at the California Natural Resources Agency, Amber founded Climate Science Alliance, an organization that strives to safeguard communities in the face of a changing climate by increasing awareness, promoting solutions and facilitating regional action.

As Amber explained, “I’ve spent just enough time with climate scientists to be terrified of our future, but I can’t live in that place of fear. This is a sustained and long-term issue that we have to deal with and we have to start making headway now.”

When launching Climate Science Alliance, Amber wanted to create a resource where people from all backgrounds, including scientists, government leaders, foundations and artists, could work together to address the challenges surrounding climate change.

Since launching in 2015, Climate Science Alliance has grown to partner with over 340 organizations, collaborate on 6 large-scale research projects and engage with over 100,000 community members.

Join the Conversation

The San Diego Foundation is proud to support the Community Heroes initiative and work alongside Amber and other regional leaders who are working to make San Diego County a more resilient region.

Since 2006, The San Diego Foundation Climate Initiative has invested more than $3.5 million in local solutions and we have worked with almost all of our region’s municipalities to pursue Climate Action Plans that support a more resilient region. Together, with changemakers like Amber, we can protect our environment, economy and communities for current and future generations.

Learn how you can get involved in local climate efforts and support the work of leaders and organizations making a difference every day. 

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