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Teach-In Focuses on Climate Change Responsibility and Action

Loyola Marymount University will host a teach-in on climate change March 21 to underscore the need for personal action and discuss concrete steps individuals can take to combat global warming. A symposium on the issue takes place the following week.

LMU President David W. Burcham will moderate the teach-in discussion and four faculty members will give short, provocative presentations. The teach-in will focus on the question: What, people ask, can we do?  More immediately, what can I, one lone person, do?  The public is encouraged to participate in the thought-provoking event reminiscent of the teach-ins that fueled opposition to the Vietnam War  in the 1960s and ’70s.

The two major climate change events on campus highlight the crucial issue for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the general public. On March 25, the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission — whose foundation runs the Center for Santa Monica Bay Studies at LMU — co-hosts a scientific symposium on the impacts of changing climate on the ecology and resilience of urban wetlands. Scientists from throughout California will be presenting on topics ranging from sea level rise to erosion and thermal stress.

“Climate change presents us with perhaps the most daunting environmental, political, economic, and ethical challenge of the 21st century,” said Brian Treanor, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Environmental Studies Program. “Although the causes of climate change are quite clear, and range of potential consequences quite dire, many people do not list climate change among their top concerns, personally or politically.”

The reasons for this disconnect are no doubt varied, added Treanor, noting that a key factor is due to “the overwhelming feeling of impotence many feel in the face of such a massive, complex challenge.” Treanor will speak on “Individual and Collective Action” at the March 21 teach-in.

Other faculty participants and the topics they will present are:

  • Sean D’Evelyn, assistant professor of economics — The Economics of Climate Change;
  • Eric Strauss, President’s Professor of Biology and director of the Center for Urban Resilience — Sustainable Architecture and Green Space;
  • Shelley Luce, lecturer in environmental science — Water Resources: Reducing Our Water Footprint.

Join in a lively discussion with faculty and professionals from a variety of disciplines on the importance of personally confronting climate change. The event is March 21 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in St. Robert’s Hall Auditorium and is free and open to the public. Refreshments and pizza will be available.

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