Speaker

I’ve been having trouble thinking about things to write about on here. So last night, I went to hear Dr. Richard Miller present a paper called “Insuring Your Future: Responding to Climate Change.” Unfortunately, I missed the first ten minutes so I am not sure if it was his paper or not, but I am assuming it was.

Anyway, the lecture, which lasted almost two hours, was in two parts. The first part consisted of Dr. Miller presenting the facts about climate change: how temperatures are rising, glaciers are melting, etc. He also presented many predictions on what will happen to the world, especially to our food and water supplies, in the decades to come. Other topics he covered included fossil fuel dependence, solar/wind/geothermal power, population growth, the possibility of turning the Western United States, Africa, and Europe into deserts, the difference between climate and weather, coral bleaching, CO2 pollution, the acidification of the oceans, and the phenomenon of the public’s disinterest in climate change despite the scientific community’s dire warnings. Basically, our class in a nutshell.

The second part consisted of him calling for the students who attended the lecture to write letters to Senator Ben Nelson encouraging him to vote yes on the current environment bill before the Senate (which we have discussed in class). Dr. Miller was very convincing in his appeal. He suggested that if everyone in that room wrote a letter, then convinced five of their friends to write a letter who then convinced five of their friends… maybe Senator Nelson would stop sitting on the fence and vote yes. Dr. Miller even suggested using Facebook and other social networking sites as a means for getting the word out there about this bill.

Personally, I am of the opinion that any bill for the environment is a step in the right direction. I think those who protest this bill because they think it does not do enough are just silly. If you offer a starving man a plate of rice, he won’t refuse it because it’s not a steak dinner. He’ll eat it because he is hungry, and maybe he’ll hope that one day he’ll be able to eat a steak dinner (or a tofu dinner, if he is a vegetarian or concerned about the beef industry). The environment is starving for attention and we have to step up and start doing the right thing. The time really is now. As Dr. Miller said, climate change really is the civil rights issue of our era. We have the power to change it.

I think our class should take five minutes sometime and write letters to Senator Nelson. Dr. Miller had example letters, I am sure if we emailed him, he could provide us with one. It would take just a few minutes. We have the potential to change the way America views climate change and sustainability!

Megan

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