Posts Tagged ‘Dianne Dumanoski’

By Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate, Second Nature
(Download the symposium agenda, or a PDF version of this summary here.)


The first American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) Regional Collaborative Symposium – the 2012 Northeast Regional Symposium – took place at Bunker Hill Community College November 3-4, 2011. The Regional Symposiums focus on fostering collaboration among ACUPCC signatories facing similar challenges and opportunities in their geographic regions. This inaugural conference garnered participation from 36 universities in 19 states throughout the Northeast, achieving cross-institutional dialogue, knowledge exchange, and solutions to climate action planning, curriculum reform, and other key issues.

Jennifer Andrews Clean Air Cool PlanetPre-Conference Change Agent Forum

This pre-conference event offered new signatories and schools striving to be compliant with ACUPCC requirements and their pledge to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions a series of “Climate Clinics” presented by representatives of colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, and private consulting companies.

Symposium Sessions

Opening Speakers
Dr. Anthony Cortese, President of Second Nature, opened the Symposium evening of November 3 with David Hales, President Emeritus, College of the Atlantic and Chairman of the Second Nature Board of Directors, and Dianne Dumanoski, Environmental Journalist, with a discussion of the ever- increasing need for leadership in higher education to teach innovative, bold, and necessary climate and sustainability theory. The November 4 sessions were opened by Philip Giudice, the former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy.

World Café: Moving Beyond the Climate Action Plan
Participants delved into dynamic discussion and planning during the World Café, which allowed for reflections on the planning process, how to move the campus forward by assigning priorities, key stakeholders, and core values, and engaging with regional partnerships and initiatives. Facilitated by Bonny Bentzin of GreenerU, discussion reflected the need for institutionalizing engagement, the importance of connecting long-term climate planning to the needs of the local community and regional partners, and the potential for creating campus engagement with the Climate Action Plan as a living and strategic institutional document.


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By Dianne Dumanoski, Author and Environmental Journalist
(This article appears in the July, 2011 issue of The ACUPCC Implementer)

The ACUPCCDownload the PDF of the briefing paper.

Even for scientists, the challenge of global warming can be mind-boggling and complex, but the bottom line is both simple and clear. The change is already under way and hitting harder and faster than expected.[1] And what is ultimately at stake is the human way of life we call civilization.

Despite two decades of research and debate, the notion persists that climate disruption is primarily an environmental hazard — a dangerous misconception that continues to be widely perpetuated by those who urge action on climate change to “save the planet.” This plea, repeated even by Nobel laureates and editorial writers in the New York Times, belies the true nature of the danger. Based on what scientists now know about our planet’s eventful history, it is a safe bet that Earth itself will survive fossil fuels and industrial civilization just as it has endured previous calamities —asteroid hits, a catastrophic oxygen pollution crisis, and even the deep freeze of “snowball Earth”.

The urgent question, therefore, is not whether the Earth can survive a different climate, but rather what the changes ahead may mean to human societies. Media coverage of global warming and Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth have highlighted the physical hazards of extreme weather, melting ice sheets, rising seas, and the eventual loss of low-lying areas and coastal cities. But climate disruption poses other grave hazards as well, which may send our societies and the global economy reeling into chaos long before our coastal cities are lost to rising seas. Whatever else is in jeopardy, this is first and foremost a crisis for humans and our current civilization.


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