Great Expectations

A blog of the Department of English at BGSU:A place for faculty, students and alumni to connect.

Focus the Nation: A Teach-In on Solutions to Global Warming

Posted by bgsuenglish on January 29, 2008

On Thursday January 31, BGSU students and faculty will be among those at more than 1,550 institutions across the country participating in Focus the Nation—a teach-in on solutions to global warming. Joining them will be local leaders and University officials for a panel discussion.

From 10 am. to 5 p.m., nearly 35 faculty members will lead discussion groups in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union on various aspects of climate change, from polar bears to journalistic responsibility related to climate change to eco-fragile countries in the Horn of Africa.

From 5-7 pm. in 308 BTSU, a panel discussion on climate change will feature BGSU students and CFO Sheri Stoll, Bowling Green Mayor John Quinn and Public Utilities Director Kevin Maynard, County Commissioner James Carter. Kim Peters, an environmental studies major, will moderate. The discussion is free and open to the public.

“We want everyone attending to understand how global warming affects all the aspects of our life and what they can do to help combat it,” said Jazmine Bennett, president of BGSU’s Environmental Action Group and co-organizer of the campus portion of the event.

“The current generation of BGSU students will be affected enormously by global climate change. This ‘teach-in’ will empower our students to be active participants in the critical dialogue about finding solutions,” said Dr. Gary Silverman, director of BGSU’s Environmental Programs. “We are looking for everyone to come not only to listen but to actively discuss these issues throughout the day. It’s a wonderful opportunity.”

A free concert by local musicians will be held from 7-11 pm. in the Union Falcon’s Nest.

The event will begin with a live Web cast at 8 pm. on Wednesday January 30. The 2 Percent Solution will feature climate scientist Dr. Stephen Schneider of Stanford University and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Natural Capitalism president Hunter Lovins and environmental justice leader Van Jones.

The last component of the event is the online ballot. Participants will vote on top solutions, and the top five will be announced in the beginning of February. Students who vote will be eligible to win a $10,000 leadership scholarship for a project to be completed by the end of August.

Across the nation that day, education and civic engagement will be used to provide a platform for students in elementary and high schools to universities and colleges to engage in the critical societal debate about climate change solutions. Live and videoconference round-table discussions will take place between Congress and campuses.

“Today’s youth are truly the greatest generation,” said Dr. Eban Goodstein, creator of Focus The Nation. “No other generation has had to face this kind of challenge. We would be failing as educators if we did not prepare them with the tools necessary to meet this challenge.”

Here is a list of English Department and culture and language-related sessions:

Geoffrey Howes, Germany and the EU on Climate Change, 201B BTSU; 10:30-11:00 am.

Timothy Pogacar, The Russian Consumer and Climate Change, 201A BTSU; 11:30 am. -noon.

Erin Labbie, The Good Life, 308 BTSU; 11:30 am.-12:45 pm.

Nancy Brendlinger, Media Coverage of Climate Change – Journalistic Ideology, 201B BTSU; 12:30-1:00 pm.

Sherri Wells-Jensen, Will 90% of Languages Die in the Next 100 Years?, 207 BTSU; 1:30-2:30 pm.

Karen Craigo, Words Are Powerful, 201A BTSU; 2:30-3:00 pm.

Jeannie Ludlow, Gender Issues of Climate Change, 207 BTSU; 3:00-3:30 pm.

Jodi Haney, Made to Stick: Principles for Effective Communication of Environmental Issues, 201A BTSU; 3:30-4:00 pm.

For more information, visit Focus the Nation, or contact Jazmine Bennett at or Whitney Kraner at


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