Web cast fails to air

Jan 302008
Authors: Cece Wildeman

A national Web cast scheduled for Wednesday night as part of the Focus the Nation event on global climate change failed to load due to the large number of institutions attempting to access the Web cast.

Nearly 1,750 institutions were set to air the Web cast across the nation, and though it failed to load in Room 228 of the Lory Student Center, conversation persisted.

“It’s disappointing that (the Web cast) was cancelled, but in an indirect way, it is encouraging to see that so many people wanted to see it and that so many people are willing to talk to each other about it,” said Sue Ellen Campbell, an English professor and event organizer.

Around 75 people gathered for the Web cast, far less than the 150 that attended each of the programs taking place earlier that day. Despite this, John Calderazzo, an English professor and event organizer, said he was pleased with the attendance level.

“This means we are tapping into an interest that is already there,” he said.

Event organizers saw about 150 people at an earlier program titled, “Why Should I Care? How Climate Change Will Affect Humans.”

Lori Peek, an assistant professor of sociology, discussed the effects of climate change on all people and animals.

Peek also spoke on the issues of temperature change, sea level and snow cover, and how the rapid changes are causing species extinctions and displacement of humans in coastal cities, arctic areas and islands.

As a result of global climate change, there are currently more people in the world that have been displaced by natural disasters than by war, she said.

Annually, there are 400-500 natural disasters, a number that has quadrupled since the early 1980’s.

Humans living inland are not yet experiencing quite the backlash of global climate change, but Peek said they would over time if lifestyle changes weren’t mitigated. This would show itself through an increase in forest fires and hot, dry weather, Peek said. 11 of the past 12 years are among the warmest on record, according to Peek’s presentation.

Many student attendees were required to attend for a class, Maya Fulton, a senior philosophy major, said she chose to go on her own accord.

“I think everyone should have to come because people may not make the decisions they do if they knew the full consequences,” Fulton said. “People in small communities should start changing the way they live.”

Although Focus the Nation is a nationwide event, Fulton said it is important at CSU because the university has some of the leading climatologists.

Other students, like Luke Karn, a junior performing arts major, agree.

“There is a lot of open-minded people here who care about the environment,” he said.

After a briefing on ways in which climate change affected humans, Peek concluded her program by encouraging people to make a pledge.

“I would like you all to make a pledge to do something different,” Peek said. “It’s incredible what’s happening here, educating you all, but the greatest risk we face is doing nothing.”

Senior Reporter Cece Wildeman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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