Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions for America

Last week, on January 31st, more than 1000 Colleges and Universities across the U.S. hosted teach-ins for Focus the Nation. This was a momentous event, the largest teach-in in history, and it was all about one thing. Global Warming. Western Connecticut State University was one of the schools that participated. All day there were debates, movies, discussions, and lectures all about Global warming. I had the pleasure of participating in a panel that was titled, “A Climactic Happening: An Open Discussion- What must we do? What’s likely to happen? How can we cope?” We had a rousing discussion about the nature of Global Warming, whether or not humans have the abilities necessary to reduce its impacts, and what people can do specifically to make that change. The panel was chaired by Dr. Wynn Wilcox, WCSU History Faculty, and joining us were Dr. John Briggs, WCSU Writing Faculty, Dr. Albert Owino, WCSU Physics, Astronomy and Meteorology Faculty, and Jennifer O‘Brien, WCSU Library Staff.

It seemed, from my observation throughout the day, that at least in this community we are mostly beyond whether or not Global Warming is happening. Now we are in a place where we are focusing on whether or not its being caused by humans. So at least we are making progress. I don’t admit to be an expert on Global Warming, but I have done a bit of reading, saw “An Inconvenient Truth”, and have listened to a number of lectures on the topic. While I understand that climate changes happen all the time, and are very cyclical, never have they been more off the charts as they are today. That is the data that helps me believe its being caused by something other than natural cycles. Never has our population been larger, and never in the existence of the earth (that we know of) have we experienced climate like we are today. In any case, even if you don’t believe in global warming, or human’s role in it, I don’t think that anyone can deny that we are facing serious problems across the planet, and we have to play some role in fixing them if we want life to continue on our planet.


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