Mason Participates in National Teach-In on Climate Change

Posted: January 16, 2008 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Catherine Ferraro

Lately, the discussion on global warming has been heating up faster than the planet itself has. Now it’s making its way into a multitude of academic disciplines across the United States as the nation grapples with critical decisions regarding global warming pollution and clean technology investments.

To educate America’s students and citizens about the far-reaching and irreversible impacts of global warming, Mason will participate in a nationwide teach-in on climate change sponsored by Focus the Nation.

The event will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 29, from noon to 7:15 p.m. in the Johnson Center’s Dewberry Hall on the Fairfax Campus. The teach-in is free and open to the public.

“The idea is to have a day of educational programs that will help focus the nation on the importance of global warming,” says Dave Kuebrich, associate professor in the English Department. “Although our state legislators will be in session in Richmond, we have invited other politicians to participate in the town hall-style programs throughout the day.”

Mason President Alan Merten and other Mason professors will be speaking, as well as representatives from Earth Policy Institute and ecoAmerica.

The teach-in follows efforts by Mason’s Campus Environmental Task Force for the past several years to develop educational programs and get other universities involved in creating greener campuses.

Mason has also been involved in efforts to promote green education by hiring a university sustainability coordinator, Lenna Storm. In addition, President Alan Merten signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

“We recognize that we can’t eliminate climate change emissions, but we can take steps to become climate neutral,” says Storm. “Participating in the national teach-in is a great way we can educate the community about the harmful effects of global warming and the steps Mason is taking to offset these effects.”

More than 1,000 institutions plan to participate in the national teach-in, and dozens of college and university presidents have endorsed the initiative. Elected officials, candidates for federal, state and local office and other decision makers are invited to join the discussions.

Mason’s teach-in is sponsored by University Life, the Sustainability Office, Democracy Project, Office of Housing and Residence Life and the Center of Excellence in Climate Change Communication Research.

For more information, see the event web site or contact Kuebrich or Storm.

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