"Changing the Moral Climate on Climate Change": Update 4.29.2012

Universities need to take clear stands for meaningful action on climate change.

Climate change is real. It is affecting the lives of people across the globe and it presents all of us – especially the most educated among us – with an incredible dilemma. Skepticism is a real virtue and something most of us should practice. But our dilemma is made awfully difficult by industry-funded, deliberately deceptive, anti-science denialism campaigns that feed fear. This is neither reasonable or virtuous skepticism.

Tomorrow, April 30th at 7:30 pm in room 101 Thomas Building at Penn State’s University Park (map), a group of esteemed Penn State faculty and one graduate student/lecturer will confront the climate change denial machine. Doors open at 7 pm.

Over the last few years, we have been discouraged by the successful of “the merchants of doubt,” a well-organized and well-funded climate change disinformation campaign. The five presenters of “Changing the Moral Climate on Climate Change” believe that as people working at a top-flight research and teaching institution, they have a responsibility to both inform the public about the many aspects of climate change – from social to environmental – and call for better action from universities in democratic society.

They will call on the University to educate civil society about the disinformation campaign and fulfill its educational role in a democratic society. They will explain the so-called “skeptics” campaign and who is behind it, distinguishing between deceitful disinformation from responsible skepticism. They will explore the problems colleges and universities face in a democratic society whose economy runs on fossil fuels. They will also explore relevant psychology findings around climate change. The audience will will learn about a college class that has confronted climate denial directly and learn about the backlash the professor received. Finally, you will hear from Dr. Michael Mann who has been at the epicenter of the international assault on mainstream science.

Presentations come from (pictured top to bottom): Dr. (Juris) Donald Brown from Science, Technology, and Society and former Clinton administration UN representative and blogger at Climate Ethics, Peter Buckland, A.B.D. in Educational Theory and Policy and co-host of Sustainability Now Radio, Dr. Janet Swim from Psychology and chair of the 2009 American Psychological Associations task force on the psychology of climate change, Dr. Rick Schuhmann, an environmental engineer and Director of Penn State’s Engineering Leadership program, and Dr. Michael Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, member of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.

Following the presentations, the panelists will answer audience questions.

Sponsors Include:

Penn State Center for Sustainability
Campus Sustainability Office
Rock Ethics Institute
Department of Science, Technology, and Society
Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment Program
Sustainable Agriculture Club

Centre County Democrats
Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future
Elk County C.A.R.E.S.
Juniata Valley Audubon Society
National Wildlife Federation
Pennsylvanians for Clean Air and Water
Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC)
Pennsylvanians for Clean Air and Water
Pennsylvania Interfaith Coalition for the Environment
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light
Sierra Club Pennsylvania
Sierra Club Moshannon
Sustainability Now Radio
Voices of Central Pennsylvania.

Questions can be sent to Peter Buckland by email: pdb118@psu.edu.

1 comment:

  1. Psychology
    Psychology” is the scientific study of mind and of consciousness. Psychology attempts to explain, predict, modify and ultimately improve the lives of people and the world in which they live. Psychology as the behaviourist views it is a purely objective experimental branch of natural science, which needs introspection as little as do the sciences of physics and chemistry.