The climate change debate is over and a discussion about solutions long overdue. The time has come to Focus the Nation. Thankfully, a 1-day interdisciplinary, non-partisan discussion on "Stabilizing the Climate in the 21st Century" will take place on January 31st, 2008 in the U.S.
The timing of the event is meant to coincide with the start of the political primaries, giving candidates a chance to contribute to the climate change dialogue. The organizers stress that it will be a catalyzing event, helping turn the national conversation about global warming from fatalism towards constructive engagement with the challenge of our generation.
"Working from a base in educational institutions, Focus the Nation is also incorporating participation by religious, civic , and business organizations. Focus the Nation has the potential to organize thousands of institutions and millions of participants across the country, and focus national attention around a serious discussion of climate stabilization."
Focus the Nation is the brainchild of economics Professor Eban Goodstein of Lewis and Clark College. Dr. Goodstein has tirelessly toured the U.S. to garner support. A few months ago he visited our hometown of Madison, WI. You can hear and see what he had to say online. A Powerpoint of the presentation is also available for download. (We make a brief cameo in the video at 12:35). Like Worldchanging, Focus the Nation is walking the talk by offsetting its travel-related emissions through the Clif Bar Cool Tags program.
Not since the first Earth Day in 1970 has a simultaneous campaign like this been undertaken. It's true that the event is U.S. centric but for good reason. The U.S. has been so slow to jump on the climate change bandwagon not because its citizens don't care but because they've been misled. Education is integral to bringing a little clarity to the discussion. Focus the Nation's emphasis on grassroots education could provide a model for other places too.
There are 15 months to go, and over 70 institutions have already signed on. UW-Madison isn't yet on of them, but we promise to get it on board. Are you ready to do your part to Focus the Nation?
You can get started here:
You might think the debate is over, but that is not what many others think. Especially when you stop to ask the question "what is actually being done to address the ramifications of the way we have treated our planet so far?" Some say that our governments are simply stalling us with delay tactics...
Please put the University of Central Florida on the map. Orlando FL