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Octopus parking garage cover art

Book Launch: The Octopus in the Parking Garage, with author Rob Verchick

March 14, 2023

Back in November 2016, the news cycle was dominated by the unexpected election of Donald Trump. Another surprise that month? A live octopus was found in the flooded parking garage of an oceanfront condo complex in Miami Beach.

Despite saturation coverage of the presidential election, news accounts of the cephalopod somehow went viral, and we at the Center opined about the incident’s unsettling message about our changing climate in an op-ed in The Miami Herald. The piece, co-authored by President of the Board Rob Verchick and Member Scholar Dan Farber, argued that such concrete symbols of climate disruption have the power to change how the public understands, and acts in response to, our warming planet.

Register for our online book chat about climate resilience on Thursday, April 13, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

Verchick picks up where he left off in a new book, “The Octopus in the Parking Garage,” out now — just in time for annual Earth Day celebrations. “Octopus” aims to launch a new, more hopeful conversation around human resilience, one that is less about how to avoid risks we can’t manage (a driver of despair) and more about how to manage the risks we can’t avoid (a driver of hope and change). 

Engaging and accessible to the public, “Octopus” takes the reader on a journey from the Miami parking garage into the field — paddling through Louisiana’s bayous, hiking in one of the last refuges of Joshua trees in the Mojave Desert, and diving off Key Largo with citizen scientists working to restore coral reefs — and shows how we can adapt and thrive in our changing world. 

The Center is eager to dive into a discussion with Rob during a online book chat we’re hosting on April 13 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time with moderator Professor Emily Hammond of George Washington University. 

Please register even if you cannot attend and you will receive a recording of this discussion by email.