Largest Teach-In in U.S. History Tackles Global Warming

On Jan. 31, more than 1,100 colleges and universities from all 50 states will participate in Focus the Nation, an unprecedented teach-in on global-warming solutions that will educate and energize close to 1 million young adults.

“We would be failing as educators if we did not prepare them with the tools necessary to meet this challenge,” says project director Eban Goodstein, PhD, a professor of economics at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon.

Organizers at Missouri State University will truck 15 tons of coal onto their campus to demonstrate what 1 hour of power looks like. At California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, more than 125 faculty members will address global-warming solutions in their classes and at campus symposiums. And more than 50 members of Congress will video-dialogue with campuses in a carbon-zero conversation, including Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), chair of The Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming.

“We are at a critical time when decisions need to be made on tackling the threats imposed by global warming,” says Gus Speth, JD, dean of Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. “Today’s youth, who are inheriting this crisis, need serious education on the issue, and Focus the Nation has created a forum for learning and interaction with lawmakers.”

A live webcast on Jan. 30, produced by the National Wildlife Federation from the University of Central Florida, will launch the event. It will focus on the need to decrease carbon emissions by 2% each year for the next 40 years to reach the goal scientists advocate: an 80% reduction by 2050. Segments will feature actor/activist Edward Norton, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (pending availability) and international climate scientist Stephen Schneider.

A live panel discussion during the webcast will feature Hunter Lovins, chief executive of Natural Capitalism; Van Jones, green jobs pioneer and president of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland; Penelope Canan, PhD, a professor of sociology at the University of Central Florida; and Praween Dayananda of the Energy Action Coalition and a recent graduate of Pomona College.

During the webcast, participants can send cell-phone text messages on how they would spend $100 billion in a clean energy revolution.  Messages will be visible on the Earth Day Network, which will broadcast the webcast.

“As traditional hubs of innovation, colleges and universities have always helped our country move forward,” says Kevin Coyle, vice president of education for the National Wildlife Federation. “Focus the Nation is providing a nationwide campus forum that brings young innovative minds together to seek solutions and demand change for a cleaner energy future.”

Editor’s Note: publishes science news so organic consumers have access to the latest information on climate change and threats to our environment. You can view similar posts by visiting the Environment Section of our blog.

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  • Dan Pangburn  January 21, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Climate obviously has changed and will continue to change. The observation that ice is melting, which can look dramatic on TV, does not show that human activity is the cause. The assertion that humans are or ever can have a significant influence on climate by limiting the use of fossil fuel (a.k.a. limiting human production of carbon dioxide) is not supported by any historical record. The only implication that carbon dioxide level has a significant effect on climate comes from huge but still incomplete computer programs that attempt to predict future climate.

    Avoid the group-think and de facto censorship by Climate Scientists. Directly interrogate official government data that taxpayers have paid for from ORNL and NOAA as follows:

    If the carbon dioxide level from Lawdome, Antarctica is graphed on the same time scale as fossil fuel usage from it is discovered that the current carbon dioxide level increase started about 1750, a century before any significant fossil fuel use.

    If average earth temperature since 1880 from is graphed on the same time scale as fossil fuel use it is discovered that there is no correlation between rising fossil fuel use and average global temperature at least until 1976.

    The asserted hypothesis that, since 1976, increasing carbon dioxide level has caused the temperature to rise is refuted by the carbon dioxide level from and earth temperature from determined from the Vostok, Antarctica ice cores. If these are graphed on a higher resolution time scale it is discovered that the change in atmospheric carbon dioxide level lags earth temperature change by hundreds of years.

    If Lawdome and recent carbon dioxide data and Vostok and recent temperature are plotted on the same graph since 1000 AD (or before) it is observed that temperature oscillates up to plus or minus 1.5 degrees Celsius (half pitch about 100 yr) while carbon dioxide level remains essentially unchanged (between 9000BC and 1750AD). This will also show that the average global temperature 200 years ago was about the same as now, 400 years ago was significantly higher than now and current rate of temperature change is fairly typical. Recent measurements show that average earth temperatures in 2006 and 2007 were actually lower than in 1998.

    For most of the history of earth carbon dioxide level has been several times higher than it is at the present as shown at .

    The conclusion from all this is that carbon dioxide change does not cause significant climate change. Actions based on the human-caused global warming mistake put freedom and prosperity at risk.

  • Reggie Rasmussen  January 22, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Hopefully, all of those students can incorporate this idea. Solar is now as inexpensive as other electricity in the commercial market. Soon it may be for residential as well. Check out the video! Thin film also shows promise!

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