Oregon: National “global warming teach-in” returns

Shelby Wood  | The Oregonian

Eban Goodstein, an economics professor at Lewis & Clark College, is back on YouTube with the “Oregon Climate Dialogue,” another national effort to focus students, Congress and the rest of us on strategies to slow climate change.

The video, which features interviews with Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s sustainability policy advisor, David Van’t Hof, and Angus Duncan, chairman of Oregon’s Global Warming Commission was uploaded last night by the small Portland-based staff of the National Teach-In.

Last year, Goodstein’s first teach-in was called Focus the Nation.This year’s National Teach-In takes place Feb. 5.

The name isn’t all that’s changed.

“Focus the Nation” and Goodstein parted ways after last year’s teach-in, and Goodstein dropped the “FTN” from its name. Goodstein’s had less money and time to organize the 2009 event, so it’s considerably smaller — about 700 colleges, universities, high schools, faith organizations and civic groups.

And, instead of trying to “focus the nation” on the issue of global warming in general, the Feb. 5 effort will press for swift policy change at the national and state level during the first 100 days of the Obama administration.

The heart of the teach-in, as it was last year, is to encourage community debate and discussion around a 45-minute webcast about climate change, available for download.

In addition, Goodstein has invited 150 members of Congress to attend teach-in events on Feb. 5 or speak, via webcam from the U.S. Capitol, with college students in their districts who are concerned about climate change. He expects about two dozen to say yes.

“We want to build on that starting this year,” Goodstein said. “We want that institutionalized, an annual dialogue between campuses and Congress.”

In Oregon, the list of campuses hosting educational events as part of the teach-in range from OHSU to Eastern Oregon University, from Portland’s De La Salle North Catholic High to the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

Go to the national map to see the full list of participating institutions.


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