Athens, Ga. – With global climate change as today’s pressing environmental issue, students at the University of Georgia are banding together to participate in Focus the Nation, a national teach-in on global warming solutions. The public event will kick off the night of Wed., Jan. 30 and end with a rally on Thurs., Jan. 31.
“This is an unprecedented opportunity for students and communities from across the country to learn about, discuss and voice opinions about the solutions to global climate change that will have major implications for the fate of our planet,” said Kelly Siragusa, Odum School of Ecology graduate student and Focus the Nation coordinator.
On Jan. 30, the national event will begin with the 2% Solution web cast at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Hall Ballroom, followed by a free dinner. Events will be held all day on Jan. 31, with seminar highlights including the 2 p.m. lecture by Ecology of a Cracker Childhood author Janisse Ray and the Charter Lecture presented by National Geographic executive editor Dennis Dimick at 3:30 p.m. Both lectures will be held in the Mahler Auditorium of the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Hotel and Conference Center and admission is free.
Another aspect of the event is the Choose Your Future vote, where students, faculty and the community-at-large will choose their top five global climate change solutions from a list of approximately 15. The ballot will be available Jan. 21 at www.focusthenation.org. Paper ballots will also be available at the Georgia Center, with drop-off locations there and in downtown Athens.
“Based on the national top five votes, Dr. Goodstein will travel to Washington to ask Congress for a solution,” said Siragusa. “Focus the Nation believes that addressing global warming requires political participation, but it is a non-partisan, non-profit initiative.”
The event will conclude with a Power Hour Rally featuring Athens mayor Heidi Davison at 7 p.m. at the 40 Watt (located at 285 W. Washington St. in Athens), followed by performances from locally favorite bands. In addition to support from the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, local business, non-profits and UGA are also supporting the event.
Over 1,000 universities and colleges in all 50 states will participate in Focus the Nation, making it the largest teach-in in U.S. history.
“The University of Georgia is a leader in the national Focus the Nation effort,” said Eban Goodstein, project director. “Georgia students are showing how young people are facing up to the challenge of their generation.”
For more information including the full schedule and sponsors, please see the UGA Focus the Nation web site at www.athensfocusthenation.cfsites.org. National information is located at www.focusthenation.org.