July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded globally, according to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service; the month eclipsed July 2016, the previously recorded hottest month ever, by .07 degrees.
While the margin is very narrow and seemingly insignificant, it’s important to note that in July 2016, the heat occurred during one of the strongest El Niños ever. This year, that wasn’t the case. This year, the record heat came without the natural warming of the Pacific Ocean that raises the Earth’s average temperature.
Most scientists agree that the warming trends around the world are a result of greenhouse gases that humans have released into the atmosphere. Many federal and state politicians on both sides have been calling for ways to tackle global warming, finally recognizing that it’s time to get serious about the topic. But while our leaders are debating legislation and blocking bills from moving forward, there are many large companies and organizations taking a stand to help curb greenhouse gases and their own carbon footprints.
In January, Broadway Stages, a full-service TV and film production company in New York City received a $1.5 million grant from New York State to partner with Alive Structures for the creation of green rooftops, totaling 1.4 acres, on three of their soundstages in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
The green roofs, which are owned by Broadway Stages, will provide a wide range of benefits, ranging from stormwater capture to air pollution reduction. The grant was provided by New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation’s (EFC) Green Innovation Grant Program (GIGP). Broadway Stages partnered with Alive Structures, the New York City Audubon and Newtown Creek Alliance on the Kingsland Wildflowers project, which was initially funded through the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund. It will add green space, improve the environment and provide a natural habitat for countless beneficial insects and birds.
According to Assemblyman Joe Lentol, “The green roofs have the potential to remove the emissions equivalent of over 40,000 cars per year.”
Another fierce advocate and champion for tackling climate change is Leonardo DiCaprio who, through his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) has supported “nearly 200 projects from 132 different organizations across climate science, marine and land conservation, critical species preservation and indigenous rights,” he told Variety.
In July 2019, coincidentally during the hottest month ever, DiCaprio partnered with philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs and philanthropist and investor Brian Sheth, to launch launched Earth Alliance, an organization that aims to combat climate change and biodiversity loss through a variety of philanthropic endeavors.
Earth Alliance will bring together the best minds in science, conservation and philanthropy to respond to the growing climate crisis and address the threats of climate change and loss of biodiversity on Earth.
Sheth knows our planet is at a critical point right now. “We have an opportunity and a responsibility to Earth – to create sustainability projects that will help save our Earth, not just for the next few years and generations, but for thousands more years to come.”