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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
FOCUS THE NATION TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 5TH 2008
- WORKSHOPS: 11:20 – 3:50
- 11:20 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.
Local Initiatives Panel From implementing the Williamstown Climate Action Plan to making homes more environmentally friendly with cutting-edge technology, many Williamstown residents are taking action against global warming. Come and learn about both the many ways people are addressing climate change in our town and what you can do to make a difference! Panel speakers include: Jane Allen (Williamstown COOL Committee), Hank Art, and Craig Robertson (J Craig Robertson Building)
- The Future of Travel: The Hydrogen Car In this workshop, BMW representatives will discuss the ways in which the automobile industry is addressing global warming and will showcase BMW’s very own response to the problem.
- 1:10 p.m. – 2:25 p,m.
- Extreme Weather Issues: Risk Management and Climate Change Many scientists claim that extreme weather phenomena are increasing in severity and frequency thanks to global warming. Speakers will discuss how this is going to affect the insurance industry, and what is being done to address the dilemma.
Speakers include: Lace Garbatini (Travelers Insurance, National Director) and John Rooks (Dwell Creative, President)
- The Fight For Environmental Justice From urban to rural areas, many groups of people within America are fighting environmental injustice (when members of disadvantaged, minority, or other groups suffer disproportionately from environmental risks and hazards). Come see why environmental injustice is one of the biggest concerns facing America today, and what certain organizations, such as the Sustainable South Bronx, are doing to combat it.
Speakers include: Miquela Craytor (Sustainable South Bronx, Deputy Director), Dwaine Lee (Sustainable South Bronx, Project Manager), Lorelei Scarbo (opposing mountain top removal, and Bob Kincaid (opposing mountain top removal) 2:35 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.
*Sustainable Design This workshop will address how architects around the world, including at Williams College, are minimizing the negative environmental impact of buildings.
Speakers include: representative from ARUP, architects from North and South Buildings
- The Grassroots Groundswell In recent years, there has been a surge of grassroots organizations fighting political change in the environmental arena. Many have even compared this growing movement to the birth of the Civil Rights Movement. Come learn about some of the various environmental grassroots organizations, what they are already doing to affect change, and how you can help.
Speakers include: Will Bates (Bali Youth delegate and Step-it-Up National Organizer) and Morgan Goodwin (MASS Youth Climate Action representative)
- TOWN HALL FORUM 4:00-5:30 Come discuss Williams College’s plans for sustainability with the administration. In this open forum, we will hear about what the college is doing and have the opportunity to share our visions for the future.
Speakers include: President Schapiro, Steve Class (Vice President of Operations), Bill Lenhart (Provost), Karen Merrill (Dean of the College), Irene Addison (Facilities and Auxiliary Services, Associate Vice President) Location: Brooks Rogers
- CHRISTOPHER FLAVIN (WORLDWATCH INSTITUTE, PRESIDENT), GIVES A LECTURE 7:30-9:00
Climate of Hope: The Path to a Low-Carbon Economy Location: Chapin Hall
- 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: