Public invited to attend forum on climate change
Published: September 30, 2008

vpDebateWatch Forum2Concern about climate change in Pennsylvania will frame the discussion at a public forum being held this week on the Harrisburg campus of Widener Law.

The free program will examine what the Keystone State can do to reduce the urgent threat of climate change at a time when society is facing potentially catastrophic environmental effects and Pennsylvania has a new law requiring a strategy to deal with climate change.

The 7:30 p.m. event on Thursday, Oct. 2 will be held in room A-180 of the administration building. It will be followed by a reception and viewing of the debate between the vice presidential candidates in the race for the White House. The debate watch will happen in the new student lounge, known as The Pit, on the second floor of the Main Law Building.

The program is intended to be a discussion among participants, with short opening remarks made by a distinguished panel. Panelists will include:

  • Pennsylvania Rep. Greg Vitali, on aspirations for local governments and the roll of the legislature.
  • Donald A. Brown, associate professor of environmental ethics, science and law at Penn State University on the climate change crisis.
  • Robert McKinstry, Esq., Ballard Spahr, on innovative approaches from states on climate change.
  • Ed Wells, professor of environmental sciences at Wilson College, on the role of higher education on climate change.
  • John Dernbach, professor at Widener University School of Law, on innovative approaches to energy efficiency and conservation.
  • Joe Sherrick, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Rachel Mark of the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, on the role of religion in reducing individual carbon footprints.

Discussion is also expected to touch on ways the threat of climate change can be reduced at state, county and municipal levels. The program will also explore ways some Pennsylvania higher-education institutions are working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on their campuses and in surrounding communities.
The event is sponsored by Widener Law’s student-run Environmental Law and Policy Society, the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Penn Future.