Positive Change – Muhlenberg College

Positive Change

A daily commitment to optimism helps Dr. Paul Zeitz ’84—a leader in the fight against global AIDS who is broadening the scope of his activism—continue to tackle seemingly insurmountable problems.

By Meghan Kita | Photos by Brooke Slezak

“This decade, from 2020 to 2030, is going to be the most transformational in human history. We’re on the threshold of a really exciting decade.”

Dr. Paul Zeitz ’84 ends his memoir, Waging Justice, on a scene from September 2015. As an employee of President Barack Obama’s State Department, Zeitz attends the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. He watches as the 193 member nations approve 17 global sustainable development goals to be achieved by 2030, including a goal to act on climate change. He feels joyful, like a revolution is just on the horizon.

Since then, the United States has announced it will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a pledge to limit global temperature rise that the UN brokered as a step toward reaching one of its 17 goals. President Donald Trump and his administration have attempted to weaken or eliminate dozens of environmental regulations. Heatwaves, wildfires, floods and other climate-related catastrophes make headlines regularly. And yet…

“Now, I’m even more hopeful about the possibility of bringing forward sustainable development and climate action than I was when the book ended,” Zeitz says. “This decade, from 2020 to 2030, is going to be the most transformational in human history. We’re on the threshold of a really exciting decade.”

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