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The Triple Threat of Water and the Emergence of the Climate Economy


Updated 12/26/2022

At the CAC conference a year ago, we unveiled the first-ever long range Florida climate weather forecast for 2030, 2040 and 2050. The CAC forecast detailing what the changing climate will bring to Southwest Florida, from Tampa to Orlando and down to Key West. In that forecast was a prediction that new and more dangerous “super hurricanes” would strike the region — ten months later Hurricane Ian devastated Florida. One of the most destructive storms in history, Ian caused 130 fatalities and $100 billion in damages. Months later the impacts of the storm, including a massive red tide, are still being felt in Southwest Florida.

The theme of this year’s conference is “The Triple Threat of Water and the Emergence of the Climate Economy.” We have assembled a stellar group of speakers and panelists, covering everything from prehistoric climate change to the economic opportunities within our developing response to climate change.

The conference is scheduled for February 9th, 2023, so mark your calendar! You can find more information about the conference and how you can attend in the Upcoming Events section.

The 2023 CAC Florida Climate Conference is made possible by the generous support of this year’s sponsors, starting with our title sponsors, The Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation, and Tommy’s Express Car Wash.  Our sponsor community also welcomes the University of South Florida Sarasota-ManateeCumberland AdvisorsSarasota Magazine, the Gulf Coast Community Foundation,  Best Weather Inc., Elizabeth Moore, WUSF Public Media, and Climate First Bank.


 Conference Agenda 

(updated December 23, 2022)

Getting Started

8:00 am – Check-in, followed by Coffee, Beverages, Light Breakfast

8:30 am – Welcome – USF SM Chancellor, Karen Holbrook

8:35 am – Susan Burns, Former Editor Sarasota Magazine: Introducing CAC CEO Bob Bunting

8:40 am – What is the CAC, Why it’s Important & How to Participate

8:45 am – Introduction of Special Guests and Sponsor Acknowledgement

Introducing Moderator & Chairman Cumberland Advisors, David Kotok

8:52 am – David Kotok: Framing this Conference & Introducing Dr. Kenneth Lacovara


Morning Session Sponsor: Elizabeth Moore

The Triple Threat from Water in a Warming Climate & Changing Our Focus from Response to Prevention: A Hurricane Ian Retrospective

9:00 am – 9:35 am   The Climate Has Always Changed and The Lessons Are Clear – Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, Paleontologist & Geologist, Rowan University 

9:35 am – 9:55 am  Threat 1: The Unprecedented Rate of Climate Warming and Rising Sea Levels — A Long Road Ahead – Bob Bunting

9:55 am – 10:15 am  Threat 2: Storm Surges in a Climate Warmed Florida Won’t Be Unique. The Hurricane Ian Example – Bob Bunting

10:15 am – 10:30 am   BREAK

10:30 am – 10:55 am   Threat 3: Extreme Rainfall or None: “Ian Strikes Again” – Inland Flooding – Dr. Stuart Waterman, CAC CTO

A Personal Story Of Ian With A Surprise Ending – Elizabeth Moore

10:55 am – 11:15 am  Audience Participation

11:15 am – 11:35 am  CAC Recommendations for Adaptation/Mitigation: What You Can Do – Bob Bunting

11:35 am – 11:55 am  Threat Creates Opportunity – The IRA Act: A Catalyst for The Climate Economy – Marco La Manno, Anchor & Meteorologist, SNN News; Bob Bunting 

11:55 am – 12:10 pm   Audience Participation

12:10 pm – 12:55 pm   Lunch – USF Garden


Afternoon Session

The Emergence of The Climate Economy: Moving from Threat to Opportunity

12:55 pm – 1:20 pm  Keynote: Miami! A Beacon – Threats, Opportunities & Action: What Government Can DoCarlos Curbelo, Principal: Vocero LLC & former Representative for Florida’s 26th Congressional District

1:20 pm – 1:30 pm   Audience Participation

1:30 pm – 1:55 pm   Insights on Insurance and Innovation in a Climate Warmed World – Dr. Guillermo Franco, Managing Director, Global Head of Catastrophic Risk Research, Guy Carpenter Reinsurance

1:55 pm – 2:05 pm   Audience Participation

2:05 pm – 2:30 pm   U.S. Economic Opportunities Beckon: A 30,000 ft. View of Meeting the Climate Threat

Moderator: Rick Newman, Columnist Yahoo Finance

Panel: Matt McAleer, EVP & Director of Equity Strategies, Cumberland Advisors; Jim Roemer, President, Best Weather Inc.; Rick Newman; Patricia Healy, Senior VP of Research and Portfolio Manager, Cumberland Advisors

2:30 pm – 2:55 pm   Academia Can Stimulate the Climate Economy: The Role of Entrepreneurship and Innovation as a Launchpad

Moderator: Suzanne Atwell – Host of the Suzanne Atwell Show & Former Sarasota Mayor

Panel: Dr. George Philippidis, Director, Biofuels and Bioproducts Lab, Patel College of Global Sustainability; Greg Smogard, Head Innovation & Business Development USFSM; Bob Bunting

2:55 pm – 3:10 pm   BREAK

3:10 pm – 3:35 pm   The Private Sector: Building the Climate Economy

Moderator: Rick Newman 

Panel: Dr. Al Browder, VP, Olsen Engineering; John Mousseau, CEO, Cumberland Advisors; Brandon Johnson, Senior Projects Manager, Stantec; Bill Johnson, President, Brilliant Harvest LLC

3:35 pm – 4:00 pm   The Role of Philanthropy in Transforming Threat into Opportunity: Informed Philanthropy

Moderator: Susan Burns

Panel: Matt Sauer, Collaboration and Impact Officer, Barancik Foundation; Jon Thaxton, Senior Vice President for Community Leadership, Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Elizabeth Moore, Founding Director, Climate Adaptation Center

4:00 pm – 4:25 pm  Working Together: An Optimistic Note – It’s Happening! 

David Kotok, Robert Bunting. Audience

4:30 pm   Adjourn


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