For Immediate Release
January 2008, 2008
Public Information Office
310 Owen Hall, Campus PO 1820
Asheville, NC 28804-8507
828/251-6526 - FAX: 828/251-6677
UNC Asheville Students "Focus the Nation"
UNC Asheville student groups will join forces
with other college students across the nation to focus attention on
global climate change solutions, in what is being billed as the
largest teach-in in United States history. "Focus the Nation" will
be held at more than 1,300 colleges in all 50 states on January
"Today's college students are truly the greatest generation," said Eban Goodstein, project director for Focus the Nation and economics professor at Lewis & Clark College. "No other generation has ever had to face this kind of civilizational challenge."
To help meet the challenge, UNC Asheville students have planned six panel discussions, a webcast and campus tours of the University's green building projects. All events are free and open to the public.
The "Focus the Nation" schedule is as follows:
• "Focus the Nation" kicks off with a screening of "The 2% Solution" at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in UNC Asheville's Highsmith University Union, room 104. This webcast, produced by the National Wildlife Federation, features panelists Stanford University climate scientist Steve Schneider; Hunter Lovins, CEO of Natural Capitalism and environmental justice leader; and Van Jones, executive director of the Ella Baker Center in California.
• UNC Asheville professors Linda Cornett, Mark Harvey and Gerard Voos will discuss "Obstacles to Change" at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in UNC Asheville's Highsmith University Union, Mountain Suites. They will examine the mechanisms that spur people to make changes and how those changes can affect climate change. This teach-in will be moderated by UNC Asheville senior environmental studies major Adam Macon.
• Asheville City officials will describe "Asheville's Commitment to the Planet" at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in UNC Asheville's Highsmith University Union, Alumni Hall. In April 2007, the City of Asheville committed to cutting carbon emissions by two percent each year until an 80% reduction is achieved. Panelists will speak to the progress being made toward this goal. The panel will include Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy; Cathy Ball, director of Transportation and Engineering; Mark Combs, director of Public Works; David Hanks, director of Water Resources; and Scott Shuford, former director of Planning and Development. UNC Asheville Dean of Faculty Samuel Schuman will serve as moderator.
• A teach-in on "Taking a Bite out of Climate Change: Your Plate and the Planet" will be held at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in UNC Asheville's Dining Hall, Private Dining Room 100. UNC Asheville professors Shirley Browning, Amy Lanou and Sally Wasileski will discuss the implications that climate change will have on global food supplies. The panel will be moderated by UNC Asheville junior biology major Ellie Johnston.
• "Climate and Social Justice: Our Moral Imperative" will be discussed at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in UNC Asheville's Highsmith University Union, Mountain Suites. UNC Asheville faculty Grace Campell, Volker Frank and Mark Gibney will examine how climate change affects all members of society and how Americans can help those most affected by these changes. Johnston will also serve as moderator for this teach-in.
• A teach-in on "Exploring Options to Address Our Energy Future" at 5 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in UNC Asheville's Highsmith University Union, Mountain Suites. Panelists include UNC Asheville professors Dee Eggers and Dot Sulock as well as Samuel Ervin, North Carolina Utilities commissioner, and David Wallace, vice president of strategic development for Appalachian Energy. Panelists will examine different aspects of the electrical utilities industry and will discuss the challenges and solutions in providing cleaner energy for our state.
• Community ministry panelists will discuss "Faith Communities and Climate Change: Why People of Faith Care" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in UNC Asheville's Highsmith University Union, Grotto. The panel will address how some faith communities are approaching climate change with a renewed view of environmental stewardship. Moderated by UNC Asheville associate professor of religious studies Rodger Payne, the panel will include Harry Johnson of the Catholic Student Association, Rabbi Robert Cabelli of Beth Israel Synagogue, Doug Flaherty of Intervarsity Campus Ministry, and Julie Lehmen, director of church relations at Warren Wilson College.
• In addition to the teach-ins, campus tours highlighting the University's green building design features will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31. Tours will be led by UNC Asheville's Campus Operations staff and will leave from the Highsmith University Union front desk.
For more information, call UNC Asheville's "Focus the Nation" coordinator Ellie Johnston at 336/202-8907 or click on www.unca.edu/ecology/ftn.htm.
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