Thursday, January 17, 2008

Focus the Nation National Teach-In


From the Hartford Courant:
With an urgency — and a sense of irreverence — reminiscent of the anti-war movement of the 1960s, a group of activists from Portland, Ore., has recruited students at more than 1,000 college campuses, K-12 schools, civic organizations, church groups and private companies to conduct a massive “teach-in” on global warming Jan. 31.

Focus the Nation, the brainchild of economics Professor Eban Goodstein of Lewis and Clark College, has energized the push for possible solutions to the problem of global warming.

Here in Springfield, students, faculty and community and business leaders are planning a full day of events on Jan. 31 as Drury University hosts Focus the Nation: Nonpartisan Solutions to Global Warming. Drury University’s Hammons School of Architecture will be the location for discussions ranging from “The Science of Global Warming” to “What Would Jesus -- and Moses, and Buddha, and Muhammad -- Do?”, which will explore religious values in an environmental context. And "Fanning the Fire - The Common Good: Public Policies We Can Live With" will be a concluding panel discussion by top city leaders.

But Drury University is not the only local university involved with Focus the Nation. Missouri State University reportedly uses 15 tons of coal to power the campus for one hour, and according to the Focus the Nation Web site students will get a very accurate idea of what that looks like when trucks dump 15 tons of coal at the student union the day of the teach-in. I have no idea what 15 tons of coal looks like much less who will clean it all up, and I am so intrigued by this idea that I may have to stop by and see since MSU is in my neighborhood.

Note added after original post: A local source tells me MSU is supposed to have barrels of coal on campus to demonstrate how its energy upgrade of buildings is saving the university tons of money and cutting the area’s coal use. Drury is supposed to dump about 7 tons (not sure about the exact figure) to show the university’s 6-8 hour use of coal each day. This information differs from what is posted on the Focus the Nation Web site which may have been earlier plans. Please don't blame me if you go to either campus looking for all this coal and find things are different.

4 comments:

Marion said...

I'm so happy to read this post. It seems the ball is rolling quickly towards recognition of global issues.

It feels like the sixties all over again, when students and young people take the initiative.

Jay Croft said...

Sixteen tons, and whaddya get?
Another day older, and deeper in debt.
St. Peter don't you call me, I can't go;
I owe my soul to the company store.

Sheila said...

Marion,
In just the last six months I have seen this change. This truly could be an issue to unite generations--those who haven't done as much as we could have and those whose interests are served more by exploring options while there is time. I think the key is to focus on solutions instead of blame.

Jay,
I thought the same thing--remember Tennessee Ernie Ford's version? Sorry I forgot. Well, he did a great rendition.

Naomi said...

This is a great idea Sheila and a good way to focus people's attention on the issues of global warming.