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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Professors to speak on global warming issues

    Today, the UA will be among 1,750 schools and civic institutions nationwide participating in the first “”teach-in”” organized by Focus the Nation.

    Focus the Nation is an educational initiative that looks at practical solutions to the growing global warming issues that face the world.

    The UA’s participation in the teach-in is completely student run.

    “”The goal of Focus the Nation is to move the debate to solutions,”” said Vincent Pawlowski, one of the coordinators for the event and a former neuro-engineer who recently gave up his career to study climate change and sustainability.

    “”If nothing else, what really motivates me are my kids. I don’t want them to be asking me in any number of years from now why I didn’t do something when I knew it was happening and had the ability and the talent to affect change,”” Pawlowski said.

    From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. professors from a variety of disciplines will provide 10-minute perspectives on various global warming solutions followed by 20 to 25 minute discussion sessions.

    The lectures will culminate at 3 p.m. with a presentation and discussion from U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

    “”The threat posed by global climate change is something (Giffords) takes very seriously and thinks the U.S. as a nation should take seriously,”” said C.J. Karamargin, communications director for Giffords. “”The U.S. needs to address global warming by using all possible sustainability recourses.””

    Giffords’ presentation will focus on the issues of solar energy and what harnessing the power of the sun could mean for our environment.

    Other speakers include Tommy Bruce, president of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, Michael Crimmins, a specialist in climate science extension and M. Scott Johnson, senior outreach representative from Defenders of Wildlife.

    “”As university students, we have a huge say in upcoming years. We can single-handedly affect policies on a national level that are good for the environment and life in general,”” said Jonathan Thomas, a psychology senior and a coordinator of the event.

    “”I hope people see that there is a lot going on in terms of coming up with solutions,”” said Prabjit Virdee, one of the coordinators and the founder of ECOalition, one of the contributing groups that helped facilitate the event.

    ECOalition is the umbrella group that formed last year to combine the efforts of environmentalist organizations such as the Soil, Water and Environment Science club (SWES), Arizona Student Recycling Association (ASRA), Marine Awareness and Conservation Society (MACS) and the newly formed Carpool Club of the University of Arizona, which was founded last year by Thomas.

    “”I believe, after having studied it for a year, that (global warming) is going to affect every aspect of our lives,”” Pawlowski said. “”If we don’t start addressing the issue and talking about it rationally, we have a much less likely chance of solving these issues.””

    For more information about the Focus the Nation project, visit www.focusthenation.org/.

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