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By Kalamalama staff

 

“We know the science, we see the threat, and we know the time for action is now.”

- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-California

On Jan. 30, at 3 p.m. Hawai‘i time, students at HPU will be able to join university, college, and high school students across the United States for a nationwide series of symposia on global warming solutions.

The national teach-in, as it is called by organizer Focus the Nation, will include a free, live, interactive Web- cast called “The 2% Solution.” Climate experts—including Stanford University scientist Stephen Schneider, sustainability expert Hunter Lovins, and green jobs pioneer Van Jones as well as a number of youth climate leaders—will present and discuss potential climate solutions.

Audiences nationwide will be able to endorse or reject these by voting with their cell phone.
Organizers’ goal, according to focusthenation.org, is 10,000 screenings “and a change in the course of history” that will “hold global warming to the low end of 3-4 degrees F.”

That’s the amount necessary, according to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, if we are to reduce arctic melting soon enough to save portions of the Antarctic ice sheet and Greenland. Focus the Nation quotes Dr. James Hansen, who wrote, in February of 2007, that “A business as usual scenario will guarantee disintegration of West Antarctica and parts of Greenland.”

According to Focus the Nation, to hold global warming to the low end will require cuts in global warming pollution in the developed countries by more than 80 percent below current levels by 2050. “Put another way,” according to the Web site, “we need to cut roughly 2 percent of current emission levels a year for the next 40 years.”

Further, “Global emissions of CO2 will have to peak in 2025—less than 20 years from now. Granting a 10-year lag for developing countries, this means that developed country emissions, including U.S. emissions, must peak and begin to decline by 2015.”

The teach-in and Web cast will revolve around whether we as a nation are willing to cut global warming pollution 2 percent a year for the next decade and what it would take to do so.

In the belief that the only way the United States will join the international effort to hold global warming to the low end is if elected leaders across the country, at every level, are challenged by teams of students to answer questions about solutions to global warming and sustainability.

Organizers of the teach-in are thus encouraging local student groups to invite local, regional, and national leaders to forums at which they can address the issues of sustainability raised by the Web cast.

 

Kalamalama, the HPU Student Newspaper. All rights reserved.

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