National Teach-In on Global Warming was held on Feb. 5 in the Gowen Room in Wilson Commons to spread awareness about global warming to UR students and the community.

With six different presentations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the teach-in was active with audience participation. Audience members asked questions and made suggestions on how to secure a better future against global warming.

Highlights of the day’s events included Professor of Astrophysics Adam Frank’s ‘Climate Change: How We Got Here,” a webcast on ‘Solution for the first 100 Days”, and Director of Dining and Auxilary Services Cameron Schauf’s ‘Our Sustainable Journey University of Rochester Dining Services.”

Associate Professor of Teaching and Curriculum at the Warner School of Education, David Hursh, gave his presentation based on the theme ‘Environmental Sustainability: It’s not just about the environment.” In his definition of environmental sustainability, Hursh mentioned social justice as a way to improve the quality of everyone’s life. Hursh suggested that in order to improve ideas of environmental sustainability, students in grades K-12 should be educated about the issues.

The Warner professor asserted that reforming schools could help reach this goal. ‘I want to argue that the issues climate change and environmental sustainability underscores our need to rethink the way schools are organized,” he said.

Hursh, who dedicates much of his time reforming the K-12 education by encouraging the addition of environmental sustainability as a part of the classroom, thinks that knowledge of environmental sustainability should be as important as classes with state exams and Regents exams. Such requirements, he argued, might help in preventing environmental problems like global warming.

Throughout his presentation, he uncovered stories of young students from elementary to high school that he worked with. The students had success in acquiring practical knowledge from different projects that they were assigned regarding the environmental issues. He suggested that K-12 schools can teach students how to garden in their school yard so that they can have fresh vegetables added to their daily lunch. That way, he argued, students learn something that excites them and helps the environment.

Senior Lecturer of Chemical Engineering Ben Ebenhack’s part of the lecture was ‘The Paired Problem of Resource Depletion ‘ Climate Change.” Throughout his presentation, he tackled the important issue of a depleting storehouse of carbon-based fuels, which can fuel the rise of affluent nations throughout the world. He then spoke about how many people are unaware of the advantages of using modern energy. He highlighted how the use of backward energy techniques contributes to global warming.

Ebenhack, a self-described ‘oil guy,” went on to speak about oil companies’ role in climate change.

‘As an “oil guy,’ I see a fair amount of literature,” Ebenhack said. ‘The reality is trying to counter the climate change arguments and there is a real appeal to oil depot to deal with the climate change phenomenon.”

Ebenhack explained how global warming is related to carbon-based fuels.

‘Climate change problem is a function of our rates of consumptions [fuels],” Ebdenhack said. He added that it will not only affect the climate negatively, but it will also cause problems like shortage in the carbon fuels.

Sophomore Liesel Schwarz and Recycling Coordinator Amy Kadrie organized the event with the goal of getting different academic departments involved.

Islam is a member of
the class of 2012.

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