Friday, April 30, 2010

Climate Change Conference in Pittsburgh

PennFuture’s global warming conference, “Creating a Climate for Justice”, takes place on May 2nd at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture downtown. One speaker is known as the “Father of Environmental Justice”.

Dr. Robert Bullard is a sociology professor and director of the Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University. He says vulnerable communities around the world, which have usually contributed least to global warming, are already experiencing the negative effects of climate change through severe weather events—hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, drought.

Leaders crafting climate policy should be listening to these communities and groups, says Bullard, and shifting public resources so they will have multiple benefits. Moving power generation from fossil fuels to renewables and transportation from automobile dependency to mass transit will not only slow climate change but improve the air everyone, rich or poor, breathes.

He calls the government’s slow, inadequate response to Hurricane Katrina a microcosm of what’s happening internationally: poor communities suffer disproportionately before, during and after natural or man made disasters.

Dr. Michael Mann, climate expert and a lead author of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will also address the group, as well as Jan Jarrett, current president and CEO of Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture), and John Hanger, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and former PennFuture president.

Hours are 1:30 to 6:15 p.m. Admission is $10, but PennFuture members may attend free of charge. Pre-register online or call 1-800-321-7775 by Thursday, April 29.

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