Thursday, July 23, 2009

Let's Debate Climate Policy

We recently received an email from Eban Goodstein, Co-director of the National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions, discussing the upcoming opportunities to debate potential solutions to global warming.  We're posting it here - leave your thoughts and comments below!

Dear Colleagues and Friends,
This fall, a few US Senators will determine the fate of the earth.  Should the Senate fail to pass global warming legislation, it will no longer be possible to hold global warming to the low end of 4 degrees F. 
Not possible.
Please take a moment and pass this e-mail along to every faculty member, staff or student at a college, high-school or K-8 program who cares about climate change.
This fall, The National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions is providing two ways to involve your class and campus in this critical debate: a bi-weekly national seminar on solutions, and a 90-minute International Teach-In (10/22) focused on “350”.
  • The National Climate Seminar.
On September 9th Dr. Dallas Burtraw of Resources for the Future will launch a bi-weekly, national phone conversation featuring top climate scientists, political leaders, and policy analysts.  Burtraw will provide key insights into the House and Senate legislation. In later weeks, look to hear from Dr. Steve Schneider, Bill McKibben, the Honorable Edward Markey, Hunter Lovins, Andy Revkin and others.
 
Hosted by the Bard Center for Environmental Policy, the half-an-hour seminars will be available live to educators, students and citizens across the country. Questions for the presenters can be submitted on-line prior to the seminar, and all conversations will be available in podcast. Click here for seminar details, or see below.
  • International Teach-In (October 22nd): “90 Minutes on 350”
The seminar will keep you informed. With The 350 Teach-In, engage your whole campus or community with a compelling educational event. Why 350? The Teach-In is being held in conjunction with the International Day of Action (10/24), organized by Bill McKibben’s 350.org group. Many scientists believe that we must get below a long run target of 350 ppm CO2 concentrations if we are to stabilize the climate at a point avoiding catastrophe, and already, more than a thousand groups across the world have signed up to get the 350 message out. Through the Teach-In , your school can be a part of this movement.
 
The current issue of Scientific American has a feature on our open-ended teach-in’s held in 2008 and 2009!   But this academic year we are recommending single, campus-wide Interdisciplinary Plenary: one half hour of roundtable presentation followed by an hour of discussion, and action. Start with a five minute introduction, followed by eight faculty, staff and students. They talk for 3 minutes each about “350” as an over-arching goal for global human society: from the perspectives of chemistry, economics, law, politics, ethics, psychology, geophysics, public health, communication, engineering, art and religion.
 
After the speakers, reserve an hour for discussion and action. The Teach-In will provide background documents to help presenters lead this discussion, including a report being prepared on The Economics of 350 by the E3 Network. As always with our work, this model allows organizers to reach out beyond the usual suspects, and engage the whole campus. Look for more detail on The National Teach-In web site later this summer.
 
The moment has come. At colleges, universities, high schools and middle schools across the nation, we must engage our students, this critical term, with the work of the future.
 
One thing we all must do: call our US Senators, every week. Thanks for your efforts.
 
Professor Eban Goodstein, Co-Director

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