We are Climate Refugees… Well sort of!

Over the coming months/ years I will try to document my journey for those interested. I am under no illusion that somehow my life story is really that interesting that people will flock to see what I have to say next. That’s not the point of this. The point is to take a big enough risk & make an uncommon sacrifice, which makes a bold enough statement, that we must be part of the change we not only wish, but need, to see. The purpose of this journey and the blog that accompanies it to document the highs and lows, the ideas (good and bad), the accomplishments and the set backs. And the goal is to inspire others to make change, large or small; from planting seeds that may eventually sprout to actively pursuing and leading on bold ideas & initiatives. I am taking a leap… a big one… with no exact road map, no exact end point… just the feeling that I must do the right thing and the faith that if I am good to the world, the world will be good to me. Naive? Perhaps. But I have found it to be generally true in my life. And absent of any evidence that society is now on the right path to save our world, or at least respect our creator, as small as my contribution may be in the whole scheme of things, we all have to start somewhere.

So let me tell you where I am now. I am about to leave a job that takes decades to land. It’s a main meteorologist job in a great place to live, South Florida. The job probably pays better than 95% of all other TV weather gigs out there. It’s a job I could have stayed in the rest of my working life.  And I’m about to enter Columbia University’s Climate & Society Master’s degree program (at 43 years old) that will cost no less than 70K, in NYC where our rent will increase by $1000 a month. No my wife does not have a job yet. Oh and to add to this illogical story, after 6 months on the market we have not sold our house yet. I’m telling you this because it is necessary to convey the scale of the financial risk we are about to embark on. We have money saved up so I am not really worried about paying the bills, although I’d be lying if I said it is not a bit stressful. But leaving money on the table, pursuing a purpose driven life, seems necessary if I am going to rouse at least a few folks to re-think our current human routines & focus on empty personal gain. Walking the walk seems imperative if I hope to inspire even just a few folks to re-think our personal and collective purpose on this Earth.

To make matters even more interesting, sadly our beloved dog General passed away this weekend after 17.5 years of bringing joy to all he met. He was the cutest and the craziest dog I’d ever met. He made sure my wife and I did not argue and kept focus on supporting each other. We will miss him, but he accompanied my wife and I through to the end of this part of our journey and handed us off to the beginning of this next one. He has been our chaperon from God, making sure we stayed on course, teaching us loyalty, love and sacrifice, so that we may have the foundation needed for this next step. This is our boy General and my wife Christy. Aren’t they the cutest?!? 🙂

2017 Christmas Picture

What’s next? Tons! We have 3 weeks to sell our house, pack, say goodbye to friends and family here, sign off from my TV job, move, get an apartment in NYC… and then work on getting some work to fund our future. That begs the question why am I still sitting here writing this blog?

School starts Sept 29th! I better get going…

Jeff Berardelli, Meteorologist and Climate Change Communicator

Reach me at jeffweather@hotmail.com

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