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WSC to Join Nationwide Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions

January 26, 2009
By: WSU News

The single-digit temperatures of late can easily make you forget that the planet is rapidly warming. But warming it is. In fact, were way beyond just changing light bulbs as the way to solve this problem.

The Worcester State community is invited to educate itself about global warming solutions in a two-day event in early February. The campus is a participant in the national teach-in on global warming solutions.

A planning group of faculty, staff and students has worked since last semester to plan this event.

Human society has evolved under stable climate conditions since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago, said Dr. Patricia Benjamin (Geography), who is coordinating WSCs efforts for the teach-in.

Now, many of the worlds leading earth scientists worry that human activities are tipping the climate system into new, unstable states—with possibly catastrophic consequences.

The teach-in aims to offer everyone in our campus community a chance to learn more about this critical issue, Benjamin added, and equally important, to understand that there is still time for us to actbut not much time.

“Solutions for the First 100 days,” a half hour webcast, will be screened at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Science and Technology 102. The webcast is based on the recommendations from The Presidential Climate Action Project. A discussion of the webcast will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, Feb. 5, panel discussions will be held in the Blue Lounge and Science and Technology 102 during the 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. course periods. So far, 19 faculty members from 10 WSC departments and representatives from at least four environmental groups will address climate change. A full roster of panelists and speaking venues will be available in the Feb. 2 e-news.

Panelists will speak for 30 minutes on a range of topics including “Perceived Health Threats from Global Warming,” “Green Jobs and Economic Development,” and “Social Movements and Climate Change.”

They will then convene roundtable discussions among student participants. Faculty are encouraged to bring their classes to these sessions.

Also on Thursday, Feb. 5, in the lobby of the Science and Technology building there will be exhibits, information tables and a short video on Worcester State’s activities to stem climate change. In the Sullivan T there will be information tables and the short video on Worcester State’s activities to stem climate change.

Art students of Stacey Parker will display their global climate solutions-themed work in the ST gallery.

To date, the WSC faculty involved in this event include: Patricia Benjamin, Glenn D’Alessio, Bill Hansen and Stephen Healy (Geography); Brad Bryan, Jeremy DeSilva, Steve Oliver and Randy Tracy (Biology); Lynn Bloomberg and Nancy Brewer (Health Sciences); Margaret Kerr and Meghan Dilip (Chemistry); Amaryllis Siniossoglou andCatherine Wilcox-Titus (Art); Steve Corey (Urban Studies); Corey Dolgon (Sociology);Carol Donnelly (Education); Bonnie Orcutt (Economics); and Karl Wurst(Computer Science).

In addition, panelists from the Governors office, the Worcester Clean Energy Coalition and the University of Connecticut Geography department plus a green building consultant will join WSC faculty.

Other contributors include Bob Daniels, who leads campus facilities sustainability initiatives, and Marcia Eagleson, Missy Moore, Tom White and Matt Caswell, who are supplying technical and organizational support.

WSC geography student volunteers will assist with the event set up.

Author Bill McKibben likes to say that there is no silver bullet for solving global warming, Benjamin said, but theres a lot of silver buckshot.

We can all make changes in our own lives, she added, and we can demand realsolutions from our political leaders. This includes basing the economic recovery on green jobs and mandating a 40 percent reduction in US emissions by 2020.

The teach-in message is: get educated, get motivated, get busy, Benjamin said.

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