Environmentalists, economist discuss climate change as Bates College opens Civic Forum series

The Harward Center for Community Partnerships at Bates College launches its 2009-10 Civic Forum series with a panel presentation titled Dealing with Climate Change: The Debate Among Policy Makers at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, in the Muskie Archives at Bates, 70 Campus Ave.

The panel will seek to clarify the pros, cons and points of confusion and contention in the policy debate over climate change. The event is open to the public at no cost. For more information, please call 207-786-6202.

Panelists are Ted Koffman, executive director of Maine Audubon and former chair of the Natural Resources Committee of the Maine Legislature;Pete Didisheim, advocacy director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine;Melissa Carey, climate change policy specialist with the Environmental Defense Fund;and Tom Tietenberg, Mitchell Family Professor Emeritus of Economics at Colby College, where he taught environmental and natural resource economics.

Climate change is an issue of longstanding interest and concern at Bates. This year, the college asked its 470 arriving first-year students to join together in taking action on carbon emissions and climate change. They were given suggested summer reading related to the topic, and the annual orientation period included a presentation by Franke James, an artist known for her environmental activism.

In October, the first-years and other Bates students will take part in the International Day of Climate Action sponsored by the advocacy organization 350.org.

The Civic Forum is an interactive lively series that invites the audience to wrestle with and explore civic, political and policy issues significant to the Bates community, Maine and beyond.

The Harward Center leads Bates’ efforts in community involvement, including programs in service-learning, community volunteerism and environmental stewardship. The center works with community partners to meet community needs and, in the process, to integrate civic engagement with the Bates educational experience.

About Bates College

Bates College is widely regarded as one of the finest U.S. liberal arts colleges. Alumni frequently cite the capacities they developed at Bates for critical assessment, analysis, expression, aesthetic sensibility and independent thought. About 40 percent of students participate in career internships, and more than two-thirds of recent graduates enroll in graduate study within 10 years after graduation.

Bates was founded in 1855 by Maine abolitionists, and Bates graduates have always included men and women from diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds.

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