Changing the mindset around climate change April 10

The School of Global Environmental Sustainability will host a panel discussion on the current mindset related to climate change on Wednesday, April 10, from 5 to 6:30 pm at Avogadro’s Number.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international environmental treaty, was adopted in May 1992 and subsequently opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June. The world’s governments, including the U.S., officially recognized the reality of climate change and the need for action. Since that time, scientists, climate activists, concerned politicians, and educators have issued a series of increasingly dire warnings about the negative consequences of climate change. These warnings have had some effect.

SoGES panel event posterThe reality of climate change has been accepted by most Americans.  Recent polling shows that approximately 70 percent of our population believe that climate change is occurring and 62 percent believe that humans are the main cause. These numbers have risen substantially over the last year.

But 30 percent of Americans still do not believe that climate change is real, nearly 40 percent do not accept that human activity is responsible, and fossil fuels still supply 80 percent of global energy.  Why do so many remained unconvinced, and why are people not doing more to solve the problem?

Panelists from Colorado State University will discuss the gap between compelling scientific evidence of a problem and lack of action. After 26 years of news reports about the impacts of climate change on floods, hurricanes, and wildfires, why are we still debating whether climate change is real, whether it is human-caused, and whether we can and should do anything about it?

Panelists include:

  • Pat Aloise-Young, Department of Psychology
  • Scott Denning, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Stephanie Malin, Department of Sociology
  • Rebecca Niemiec, Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

Gene Kelly, assistant director for research and development at the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, will moderate the discussion. Kelly is also the deputy director of the Agricultural Experiment Station and serves as associate dean of CSU Extension.

The panel discussion, part of a Managing the Planet series, is free of charge and open to the public.

Avogadro’s Number is located at 605 S Mason Street in Fort Collins.

Learn more about the School of Global Environmental Sustainability and the Managing the Planet series on its website.