Why has the U.S. government failed to join in climate change agreements adopted by much of the rest of the world? In honor of Earth Day, the School of International Affairs will present an event focused on this question featuring a film screening and discussion moderated by renowned Penn State researcher Professor Donald A. Brown on April 20.
“Global warming is here. If we can fix this—and that's a big if—it's only going to happen if the United States takes decisive action working together with other nations and people,” said Brown, associate professor of environmental ethics, science, and law. “Leaders and professionals need to understand how our scientific understanding of climate change has been affected by the politics of climate change and that the world is waiting for U.S. action.”
After screening the PBS Frontline Special Hot Politics, Professor Brown, a scholar of climate change and sustainable development, will lead a discussion on the following questions:
- Why are so many Americans skeptical of global warming?
- Is the science really in doubt?
- What are the politics behind these decisions?
- Why should we as individuals care and how can we effect change?
A former environmental lawyer, Professor Brown is the author of American Heat: Ethical Problems with the U.S. Response to Global Warming, and has represented the United States Environmental Protection Agency on U.S. delegations to the United Nations negotiating climate change, biodiversity, and sustainable development issues. Professor Brown now serves as director of the Pennsylvania Environmental Research Consortium, an organization comprised of 56 Pennsylvania universities and the Pennsylvania Departments of Environmental Protection and Conservation and Natural Resources.
The event is co-sponsored by the United Nations Association of Centre County, the Interinstitutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge, the Center for Sustainability, the Center for Global Studies, and the University Libraries.
This event is free and open to the public. The screening begins at 7:00 p.m. in room 118 of the Lewis Katz Building, University Park.