A nationwide teach-in on global warming will include events at local college campuses as part of a national effort to spur action towards encouraging emission cuts of 80% below current levels by 2050 in order to stop global warming.
At the end of the month, a “nationwide teach-in” called “Focus the Nation” is being planned to raise awareness and encourage action on global warming. The teach-ins–which will be held on January 31–are encouraging a move from discussion and fatalism to action on global warming.
In answering the question “Why Now” the campaign says:
“Over the next decade, critical policy decisions will be made with irreversible consequences for the future. Dr. James Hansen, the top US government climate scientist, believes that if we do not stabilize greenhouse gas emissions soon, we may set in motion a process leading to collapse of the West Antarctic and Greenland Ice sheets, events that would raise global sea levels by over 40 feet, inundating many of the world’s major cities. This of course is just one of the myriad potential consequences of human-induced warming, with regional and global impacts ranging from hurricanes of greater intensity and duration, global water shortages, altered patterns of rainfall, drought and flood, massive forest die-back, and large-scale species extinction.
Students today face many important social, economic, and security issues. Global warming however, is unique, in that if we are to reduce the risk of large-scale, irreversible, world-wide damages, then ambitious–and potentially costly–policy solutions must be undertaken within a very compressed time frame. Failure to act soon increases the likelihood of a swing in global temperatures of Ice Age magnitude within our children’s lifetimes, only in the opposite direction. We have a window of time now to create the foundation for a just and sustainable future.”
As an action goal, the campaign is encouraging emission cuts of 80% below current levels by 2050. Legislators, elected officials, and university administrators around the country are being invited to the events.
Here in West Michigan, events are planned on three area campuses:
01/29/2008: Green Fair
Location: Aquinas College- Wege Student Center (Lower Level)
Time: 11am to 2pm
As a part of Aquinas College’s Focus the Nation programming, a Green Fair will be held on Tuesday, January 29th in the Wege Student Center. Locally-owned organizations will be on site with information and products for sale, including a local Art Gallery and Metro Health Hospital. All are welcome!
01/30/2008: “2% Solution” Webcast
Location: Aquinas College- Cook Carriage House (Upper Level of the Moose Cafe)
As a part of Aquinas College’s Focus the Nation programming, a showing of the “2% Solution” will be held on Wednesday, January 30th in the upper level of the Cook Carriage House. “2% Solution” is a live, interactive webcast featuring Stephen Schneider, Hunter Lovins, Van Jones and youth climate leaders. All are welcome! Snacks will be provided.
01/31/2008: Local Lunch: Count your Carbons!
Location: Aquinas College- Wege Student Center (Level 2)
Cost: $6.00 (cash only)
As a part of Aquinas College’s Focus the Nation programming, a local meal option will be served in the Wege Student Center on January 31st. Come reduce your carbon footprint, eat healthy food, and learn all about the benefits of eating locally and the dangers of global climate change. All are welcome!
Tuesday, January 29
* Kick-off event: 8:00 PM– Commons Lecture Hall
* View the newly released film King Corn. Good laughs, great film!
Wednesday, January 30
* Re-Gathering: 9:50 AM – Fine Arts Center
* Dr. Elaine Storkey speaking on Climate Change and the Global Poor
* Webcast: 8:00 Science Building 010 — The 2% Solution
* Focus the Nation will stream a free, live, interactive webcast called The 2% SOLUTION. Join Stanford University climate scientist, Stephen Schneider, sustainability expert Hunter Lovins and green jobs pioneer Van Jones and youth climate leaders, for a discussion of global warming solutions. Audiences can weigh in with cell phone voting. Our goal is 10,000 screenings–and a change in the course of history.
* 9:00 PM –Snow Festival on the Commons Lawn–Embrace the Cold (while you can!)
* Snowman contest, snow tunnels, build an igloo and sleep outside
* Free Snow Cones and Hot Chocolate in Johnny’s
Thursday, January 31
* “Teach-in” activities: All day throughout campus (Click here for schedule)
* Chapel : 10 AM Speaker: Peter Illyn, Director of Restoring Eden
* Belly Button Christianity: Reconnecting Faith to the Miracle of Life
* Round Table Discussion: 3:30-5:00 PM — Bunker Interpretive Center
* Institutional Responses to Global Climate Change: What Can Calvin College Do?
* Moderator: Claudia Beversluis, Respondents: Rick Balfour, Phil Beezhold, Janel Curry, Luke Kenbeek, John Witte.
* Panel with Elected Officials: 8:00 PM–Fine Arts Center
* Solutions for Global Climate Change: Ideas from Policymakers
* Participants: Congressman Vern Ehlers, City Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss, and others
* Concert with Anathallo:9:00 PM -Fine Arts Center
* Tickets: $5 with Calvin ID, $10 General Public available at the Box Office
Grand Valley State University
January 31 – 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Grand Valley’s Student Environmental Coalition brings you:
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS for “Focus the Nation” at GVSU
* 5-6PM: Local Business Fair and Food Reception
* 6-7:30PM: Panel Discussion
* 7:30-9:00: Showing of “The 11th Hour”
* 9:00-10:00: Discussion about movie
In the next few years, we as a nation will make, or fail to make, critical decisions regarding global warming pollution and clean technology investments. These decisions will have far-reaching and irreversible impacts on the lives of today’s students and the lives of their children. At this moment in time, we owe our young people at least a day of focused discussion about global warming solutions for America.
Focus the Nation is an opportunity for university faculty members to hold a discussion with their students on how global climate change not only affects the world at large, but how their professional discipline is interrelated with this issue. The idea is to spark conversation and critical thinking amongst students, faculty and their communities in the hopes of increasing their knowledge of this topic.
Following the classroom discussions we hope that students will join faculty and local community members in a culmination of the day’s events at a panel discussion and movie screening of The 11th Hour.
Currently over 1000 institutions, mostly colleges and universities have signed on to participate, and dozens of college and university Presidents have endorsed the initiative.
For additional information on Focus the Nation and “The 11th Hour,” please visit these sites: http://www.focusthenation.org/ and http://wip.warnerbros.com/11thhour/