SHEPHERDSTOWN – On Earth Day, the American Conversation Series will feature “US Policy on Climate Change: Who Pays, Us or Our Children?” sponsored by the Bonnie and Bill Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communication at Shepherd University.
The forum, which is free and open to the public, will take place on April 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Storer Ballroom at the Student Center. Questions from the public will be encouraged and due to limited seating, reservations are requested but not required.
“We are very pleased that this forum is taking place during the Earth Day celebration,” said Greg Fields, acting director of the Stubblefield Institute. “We brought together a group of esteemed experts from the federal government, congressional advocacy, and the insurance industry to discuss what our country could do to address this pressing issue.”
Panelists will include Craig McLean, recently retired director of research at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Danny Richter, Ph.D., vice president of government affairs for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby; and Sean Kevelighan, president and CEO of the Insurance Information Institute. The forum will be moderated by CNN analyst Amanda Carpenter.
“The panel is an absolutely fascinating mix of perspectives on this issue,” Fields said. “While we worry about the climate and its impact on our everyday lives, there is a real layer of concern that it is not just changing the face of our planet, it is changing the face of our society. I think that’s what we’re going to try to examine through this panel.
He added that despite their differences, the panelists are all united around this theme.
“I think that’s a lesson for all of us – that the impacts of an issue like this are graphic enough to attract people from different viewpoints in an effort to find a common answer,” Fields said. . “I think one of the things that gets lost in the whole notion of climate change and our fight against climate change is what it really means in a practical sense. We will look at it from this perspective. »
Fields explained that the position of the discussion will be that climate change is an “undeniable reality.”
“You can argue about its nuances, you can argue about the depth of its effects, but there’s no denying that the planet’s climate is going through a period of transition,” he said. “Experts have pointed to the fact that climate change will hit people at the lowest economic levels harder than those at the top. There is incredible financial exposure from landowners in areas that are in the crosshairs of climate change.
Fields said he hoped the event would melt the edges of the climate change debate.
“The fact that this is a reality and somehow it affects all of us. I really want that to happen,” Fields said. “Certainly looking at it through an economic lens, we maybe we can focus on this general impact of this truly cataclysmic climate change.”
According to an official press release, Earth Day 2022 is April 22 and this year’s theme is “Investing in our Planet”. Every year since the first Earth Day was celebrated 52 years ago, communities across the country have held a variety of events to raise awareness and take action to protect the environment.
For more information and to reserve a spot, contact Sarah Burke, Stubblefield Institute Communications Officer at [email protected] or 304-876-5005. To register online for the event, go to https://www.shepherd.edu/icpc/icpc-advisory-board.