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Global Warming: Is It Our Responsibility?

How do we address the issue of global warming? Is the environment a public or private good? Do we have a moral obligation to protect the planet? Is nuclear power a viable alternative to coal power? Who should enforce environmental policy?

Such questions will receive direct attention from CMC faculty members in a panel discussion on global warming. Each will come from a different discipline — economics, philosophy, science, and government — but the professors will share a common goal: fostering discussion among students on what is, in fact, one of their most pressing concerns.

Professor of economics S. Brock Blomberg will present a formal political economy perspective on global warming. With specialties in macroeconomics and international economics, Blomberg will explore the climate change in a broad scope and consider the economic costs of a solution.

Professor of philosophy Alex Rajczi will discuss the ethical issues involved with the environment. Racjzi, having published several papers on philosophy and public affairs, will present a rational approach to the problem of climate change.

Professor of chemistry Kathleen Purvis-Roberts will talk about the scientific indications of global warming. As air quality, nuclear radiation, and public health have been concentrations within her research, Purvis-Roberts will use environmental science to argue for a solution.

Professor of government William Christian will discuss the political aspect of global warming. As an environmental lawyer who has worked for the Environmental Protection Agency and the oil industry, Christian will bring his experience with public policy to the discussion.

The panel discussion at CMC is part of Focus the Nation, the nationwide educational initiative for focused discussion on the topic of global warming. On January 30-31, 2008, over 1,000 colleges and universities will participate in a Focus the Nation symposium, ranging from teach-ins to meetings with members of Congress. Eban Goodstein, founder of Focus the Nation, will speak at the Athenaeum on Tuesday, April 22, Earth Day 2008.

The event is sponsored by the Environmental Crusaders, a CMC student organization. The Environmental Crusaders organized the Campus Climate Challenge at CMC during the fall semester, a competition between the Claremont Colleges to reduce student energy usage. The Environmental Crusaders hope to continue and strengthen environmental activism at CMC.