Global warming focus of public forum Thursday

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

DePauw University will join with more than 1,400 campuses across the United Statezzf education and dialogue about the implications of global warming for our communities, economies, and ecosystems, and to enable millions of students and other citizens to engage with decision-makers about how to face up to the planetary challenge that will define today's citizens and generations to come.

DePauw's Focus the Nation events will consist of a series of panel and roundtable discussions on topics of faculty members' choice.

Focus the Nation is not just about the science of the global warming; it will examine the logistical and ethical implications of this science and the work that must be done now to begin the process of a green transformation. Professors of economics, anthropology, political science, and even literature will together elucidate the sometimes not-so-obvious connections that their fields have to global warming and work to bring the implications of climate science to life.

The schedule for DePauw's Focus the Nation activities includes a video series, which began on Monday, leading up to a live national webcast Wednesday.

"Focus The Nation is an incredibly important national event," says Jen Everett, DePauw's sustainability programs coordinator and assistant professor of philosophy. "We are thrilled to be a part of this initiative.

This is education at its finest. It represents the enormous power that youth have when they use their education to create positive change in the world.

"We want to also focus on integrating the community as well...we've invited local businesses and the Chamber of Commerce. We've deliberately timed this to coincide with the primary season in order to gain maximum exposure.

"This initiative has been the result of a lot of blood, sweat and tears from countless people who have leant their hands to this initiative."

Focus the Nation will serve as an educational symposium of students, teachers, business and community leaders, politicians, and everyday citizens brought together in a non-partisan, interdisciplinary global warming super bowl of academic discussions, community-based meetings, workshops, and political forums.

The goal is simple: raise awareness.

At the conclusion on each campus Thursday, Focus the Nation will culminate in a non-partisan, solutions-oriented Green Democracy policy discussion between students and political leaders in their area.

The goal of these roundtable sessions is to create an open dialogue that transcends climate change as a partisan issue.

At DePauw, Neil Brown, special adviser to Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) will be participating via video uplink from Washington D.C. to discuss federal climate policy options. Representative Brad Ellsworth, while unable to attend, will pre-record comments on present and future energy policy.

At the state and local level, Greencastle Mayor Sue Murray and State Senator Tim Lanane (D-Ind.) will be present to engage in direct dialogue with selected DePauw students.

Focus the Nation is also sponsoring an online vote -- inviting visitors to "Choose Your Future" regarding emissions reductions.

For more information on Focus the Nation at DePauw University, call 658-4722.

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