University News

WIU Prepares for Jan. 31 Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions

January 25, 2008

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MACOMB, IL -- Twenty Western Illinois University faculty members representing 15 academic disciplines will be among the panel presenters Thursday, Jan. 31 when Western joins more than 1,000 other educational institutions nationwide in "Focus the Nation Global Warming Solutions: A National Teach-In."

In addition, members of Western's Institute for Environmental Studies, the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs and the Physical Plant will participate, bringing the number of panelists to 24.

The teach-in will kick-off at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 in Waggoner Hall 378 with the live webcast "2% Solution" produced by the National Wildlife Federation and aired by the Earth Day Network. Panelists will include actor Edward Norton; Stanford climate scientist Steve Schneider; sustainability expert Hunter Lovins, CEO, Natural Capitalism; and green jobs pioneer Van Jones, executive director of the Ella Baker Center, Oakland, CA.

Thursday's (Jan. 31) presentation sessions will run consecutively from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. in the University Union Sandburg Theatre. Sessions will include four speakers, each with
15 minutes on their topics, including Q&A. (See the presentation and topic list at the end of the release.)

Western's teach-in will conclude with the 7 p.m. showing of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" in Morgan Hall 109. The 2006 documentary film explores the birth, limited commercialization and subsequent death of the battery electric vehicle -- specifically the General Motors EV1 of the 1990s -- in the United States. Roles of automobile manufacturers, the oil industry, the U.S. government, batteries, hydrogen vehicles and consumers in limiting the development and adoption of this technology are also investigated.

The 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday (Jan. 31) teach-in sessions in the University Union Sandburg Theatre are as follows:

8 a.m. - Gordon Rands, associate professor, management, "Business and Climate Change"
8:15 a.m. - Christopher Pynes, assistant professor, philosophy and religious studies, "Making Meat and Global Warming"
8:30 a.m. - Ken Mietus, professor, sociology, "Organizational Design and Normal Accidents"
8:45 a.m. - David Casagrande, assistant professor of environmental anthropology, "Rising Sea Level and Pacific Island Peoples"
9 a.m. - Discussion with Q&A session; moderator Amy Patrick, assistant professor, English

9:30 a.m. - Minsun Doh, assistant professor, recreation, park and tourism administration, "Global Warming's Effects on the Tourism Industry"
9:45 a.m. - Bill Knight, associate professor, journalism, "Climate Change and the Press"
10 a.m. - David Connelly, associate professor, political science, "Climate Change, Leadership and Motivating Action"
10:15 a.m. - David Soule, professor emeritus, physics, "Solar Energy and Climate Change"
10:30 a.m. - Discussion with Q&A session; moderator Gordon Rands

11 a.m. - Shawn Meagher, associate professor, biological sciences, "Climate Change and Disease"
11:15 a.m. - Tom Dunstan, former acting director, Institute for Environmental Studies, "Climate Change and Migration Patterns"
11:30 a.m. - Tawnya Adkins Covert, associate professor, sociology, "Coal Power and Mountain Top Removal in Appalachia"
11:45 a.m. - Heather McIlvaine-Newsad, associate professor, anthropology, "Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: Impacts on Gulf Coast Fishing Communities"
12 p.m. - Discussion with Q&A session; moderator David Casagrande

12:30 p.m. - Brian Davies, assistant professor, physics, "Global Warming Is Limited by Carbon Availability"
12:45 p.m. - Fred Iutzi, faculty assistant, agriculture, "Energy From Plants"
1 p.m. - Charles Darnell, director. Physical Plant, "Energy Efficiency Opportunities on a University Campus"
1:15 p.m. - Tom Sadler, assistant professor, economics, "The Costs and Benefits of Global Warming"
1:30 p.m. – Discussion with Q&A session; moderator David Casagrande
2 p.m. - Tracy Knight, associate professor, psychology, "The Psychology of Climate Change Denial"
2:15 p.m. - Tom Alton, associate professor, biological sciences, "Global Warming: The Truth is Much More Inconvenient"
2:30 p.m. - Ivan Jimenez Williams, assistant professor, foreign languages and literature, "Ecocriticism and Amazonian Deforestation: Teaching Biophilia through Art"
2:45 p.m. - Traci Heffelbower, graduate assistant, recreation, park and tourism administration, "Bolivia and Climate Change"
3 p.m. - Discussion with Q&A session; moderator Gordon Rands
3:30 p.m. - Tim Collins, assistant director, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, "Urban Sprawl: Fouling the Landscape and the Air"
3:45 p.m. - Peter Cole, associate professor, history, "Suburbs and Climate Change"
4 p.m. - Holly Stovall, instructor, Women's Studies, "Cooking for Sustainability"
4:15 p.m. - Roger Viadero, director, Institute for Environmental Studies, "Water Quality Impacts of Surface Mining"
4:30 p.m. - Discussion with Q&A session; moderator Amy Patrick

"Focus the Nation" is a nationwide effort to attract the attention of citizens across the country on the issue of global warming and climate change, as well as on the need to develop and implement government policies to address this issue. More information is available at

At Western, "Focus the Nation" is co-sponsored by the University Theme Committee and the Program for the Study of Ethics. The event supports Western's yearlong theme, "Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility: Environmental Sustainability."

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