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FGCU Invites the Public, Media to "Climate Change" Events
1/22/2008

FORT MYERS, FL - Florida Gulf Coast University invites the public and media to three events, "Green Democracy" and the "2% Solution" Wednesday, Jan. 30, and "Climate Change and the Sunshine State" Thursday, Jan. 31, to engage in discussions about the issue of climate change. All events take place in the Student Union ballroom and are free to the public.

"Green Democracy," which begins at 5:30 p.m., features local and state politicians discussing political solutions to the climate change issue. The event is a nonpartisan look at what the region, state and nation can do to address the issue of global climate change. Reps. Gary Aubuchon, Matt Hudson, and Garrett Richter, Nick Thompson, Sen. Burt Saunders, and Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann are on a panel to open the conversation.

The "2% Solution," which begins at 8 p.m., is a live, interactive webcast. FGCU will join Stanford University climate scientist Stephen Schneider, sustainability expert Hunter Lovins, green jobs pioneer Van Jones, and youth climate leaders for a discussion of global warming solutions. An opportunity to weigh in with cell phone voting is available during the event.

"Climate Change and the Sunshine State," which begins at 7:30 p.m., is a presentation by Don Miller based on the award winning slide show created by Nobel Peace Prize co-winner for 2007, former Vice President Al Gore. The presentation covers the causes and effects of global warming, their impact on the Sunshine State and what citizens of the Earth can do to reverse the trend.

Don Miller is a retired high-technology sales and marketing executive now serving as a volunteer presenter with the Climate Project. He has been personally trained by Gore and The Climate Project to serve as a volunteer presenter for the organization.

"FGCU is very excited to be taking a lead role in educating our students and the local citizens on the issue of climate change," associate dean and professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences Jim Wohlpart said.

"These events are part of a larger national effort organized by Focus the Nation that involves over a thousand colleges, universities, high schools, faith groups, civic organizations and businesses. The intent of Focus the Nation is to generate a dialogue about climate change and clean energy solutions. Experts suggest that we have ten years to make a change-and I believe we can do it through efforts such as this."

FGCU is partnering with Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve on these events, which are sponsored by the FGCU Center for Environmental and Sustainability Education, FGCU Coastal Watershed Institute, and FGCU Whitaker Center for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education. For more information on these events, please visit http://www.fgcu.edu/FocusTheNation/ or contact Wohlpart at (239) 590-7181 or Wohlpart@fgcu.edu.

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