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Focus the Nation
On January 31, 2008 over one thousand colleges, universities and high schools, businesses, faith and civic organizations, political leaders will participate in a nation-wide, non-partisan discussion on critical policy choices for the next decade. It will be a catalyzing event to Focus the nation on solutions to global warming.
Please visit the national website for more information and to see Williams College on the map.
Action at Williams
The Williams event will take place on Wednesday, February 5th, 2008
- The one day symposium will involve class discussions, talks and debates, a keynote speaker and community based engagement. In 2008 the nation will begin the process of voting for a new president, and we feel this is an excellent opportunity to establish global warming as a major national political issue.
- At Williams we are asking professors to dedicate time to leading a discussion on global warming, either as it relates to their field or how simply as they see it as a person.
- Class time may range from a whole class period to a 10 minute discussion.
- Outside of class there will be ongoing lectures, debates, movies, letter writing sessions and other activities.
Schedule of the Day
(subject to slight revision) Throughout the day:
Paresky Action Center, featuring tables with information on voter registration, carbon offsets, state and federal legislation, candidate positions, and other aspects of sustainability
Local initiatives- Williamstown COOL (Carbon diOxide Lowering) Committee, Craig Robertson, Hank Art, Center for Ecological Technology (CET) BMW and green automobile technology
Insurance and Advertising- Travelers insurance and Dwell Advertising Eco-Discrimination- West Virginia Mountaintop Removal and Sustainable South Bronx
Green Buildings- a conversation with North and South Academic building architects Politics and Grassroots- Will Bates: Bali Youth Delegate, Morgan Goodwin: Massachusetts Youth Climate Action (MYCA)
4:00-5:30- Town Hall Forum moderated by Sarah Gardner and Amy Johns
President Schapiro, Steve Klass (V.P. of operations), Bill Lenhart (Provost), Karen Merrill (Dean), Irene Addison (Facilities), Stephanie Boyd (Sustainability Office)
7:30-9:00- Keynote Speaker
Christopher Flavin, President of the Worldwatch Institute
- Deal with Global Warming in an intelligent way. This is not a simple or black and white issue, it deserves enlightened discussion.
- Involve Lots of People. This concerns all of humanity and Focus the Nation will provide an environment for large scale discussions by lots and lots of people. This issue is not an environmental issue but a societal and environmental issue which means the discussions of how to deal with it should happen between people from all different backgrounds and beliefs.
- Make the Issue More Political. The event will occur early in the political primary season, it provides an opportunity to engage political candidates from across the country and at all levels of government in campus-based, non-partisan discussions of climate solutions.
Students have approached professors with a pledge to commit to Focus the Nation, with an eventual goal of reaching 80% involvement. Professors have pledged to spend anywhere from 5 minutes to the entirety of class talking about global warming.
The Focus the Nation steering committee is made up of 4 students, two faculty and two staff. They are as follows: