CSU Participates in Nationwide Global Warming Teach-In

COLUMBUS, GA. — Columbus State University is joining more than 1,500 U.S. colleges and universities in a “Focus the Nation” teach-in on global warming and potential solutions during the week of Jan. 28.

A flagship event will take place 8-10 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 in Stanley Hall 203, where participants will view and discuss the “2% Solution” Webcast, from a video produced by the National Wildlife Federation and aired by the Earth Day Network. Afterward, student-led roundtable discussions will address potential ways for CSU students to respond. This program is free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, a “Climate Matters” faculty lecture will feature a presentation titled “Snowball Earth: Life Without Global Warming,” by CSU physics professor Zodiac Webster, and CSU Mead Observatory Director Rosa Williams will present “Alien Atmospheres — Lessons from Venus.” This 11 a.m.-noon program in the Davidson Student Center auditorium also is free and open to the public.

Focus the Nation is a nationwide initiative to engage educators, students, local leaders and citizens in discussing global warming. Organizers at the national level tout the upcoming event as the largest teach-in in U.S. history.

Environmental science professor Troy Keller, who is coordinating the program at CSU, said several professors representing various disciplines will discuss climate change during their classes through the week in cooperation with the national teach-in.

Student groups also are participating. The Student Government Association has initiated a “Go Green' committee, which plans to stay active beyond the week of the national teach-in. The group, plus other student organizations, will stage a “Sustainability Fair” in the Stanley Hall lobby from 7:30-8 p.m., before the Wednesday night event, and will feature information on local environmental organizations and recycling.

“We’re trying to create a groundswell of student activity,” Keller said. “Our long-term goal is for faculty to incorporate global warming as ‘a real issue’ in the curriculum and in class discussions,” he added.

The final piece of the initial teach-in will be a “Choose Your Future” online vote at http://www.focusthenation.org by participants through Feb. 12 to determine top five global warming solutions.

Vote results will be presented nationally in mid February. All students who vote on the Choose Your Future ballot will be eligible to win a $10,000 leadership scholarship for a project to be completed by end of August 2008.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this nationwide initiative. This effort is grass roots education and activism at its finest,” said Keller. “Our youth have enormous power shape the future and create a healthy planet for their kids and generations into the future.”

For more information on Focus the Nation, go to http://www.focusthenation.org. For more on the program at CSU, call 706-507-8099.