Lakeland College joins largest effort focusing on climate change in U.S. history
Academics - posted on 1/24/2008
Lakeland College will join over 1,500 college and university campuses around the U.S. participating in Focus the Nation, an unprecedented effort to discuss global warming solutions. The event is Jan. 31.
Lakeland's Focus The Nation event is set for 11 a.m. in the Bradley Auditorium, and will include an introductory presentation by Environmental Science Professor Paul Pickhardt, followed by a moderated discussion by faculty members in several other disciplines. That group will include Karl Kuhn (religion), Alan Mock (sociology), Scott Niederjohn (business) and Rick Dodgson (history).
"The global environmental crisis is one of the most pressing issues of our age," said Lakeland President Stephen A. Gould. "The consequences of the economic and political decisions made in the next 10 years will have little impact on my generation. Today's college students, however, will live on the planet those decisions will create. Now is the time for them to engage this issue."
Lakeland students will be involved as moderators and educators in the discussion. Local and regional civic leaders are encouraged to attend the event, which is free and open to the public.
"The scientific community and atmospheric scientists in particular have come to a consensus that human-induced climate change is occurring," said Pickhardt. "The important, societal-level questions of what should be done next now dominate the discussion.
"There is compelling evidence that human activities are changing the composition of the Earth's atmosphere resulting in climate change. We must now address what - if anything - we are willing to do to avert the major changes to the Earth that the scientific community is already starting to observe."
The national teach-in effort for Focus The Nation will kick off the night of Jan. 30, with the "2% Solution" web cast co-produced by the National Wildlife Federation and aired by the Earth Day Network. Panelists will include actor Edward Norton, Stanford climate scientist Steve Schneider, Hunter Lovins, CEO, Natural Capitalism and environmental justice leader, Van Jones, executive director, Ella Baker Center in Oakland, Calif.
"No other generation has ever had to face this kind of civilizational challenge," said Lewis & Clark professor of economics Eban Goodstein, author, and project director for Focus The Nation. "And we as educators would be failing if we did not prepare today's students to meet this challenge."
The final piece of Focus The Nation's teach-in model will be the "Choose Your Future" vote. All students, faculty and community participants will be encouraged to vote on what they think are the top five solutions from a list of 10-15 that are available at www.focusthenation.org
. Vote results will be presented nationally in mid-February. All students who vote on the "Choose Your Future" ballot will be eligible to win a $10,000 leadership scholarship for a project to be completed by end of August 2008.
For more information on Lakeland College and their participation in Focus The Nation, please visit www.focusthenation.org
, or call David Gallianetti at (920) 565-1219.
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