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Seasonal variation predictions

5:00 Q&A following lecture
5:30 Reception with Refreshments

$3 Suggested donation
(but no one turned away
for lack of funds)

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* Note: This talk was listed in early
PR as taking place on 4/18,
which is
Sunday, April 25th, 2010
04:00 PM - 05:30 PM

Cries and Whispers:
9/11, Climate Change & Georgia
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Exhibit Photo
Dr. James Porter, Meigs Professor of Ecology Predictions for Costal Georgia
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  • 39 folks came out to be elucidated and thoroughly enjoyed this event!
    e are honored to be hosting Dr. James Porter, Meigs Professor of Ecology at the University of Georgia and a marine ecologist by training.

    For his talk he will employ new animated graphics to illustrate our urgent need to pay attention to climate predictions for the southeastern United States over the next 50 to 100 years as well as address a wide-range of issues, many customized to respond to the concurrent Deluge exhibit.

    Porter will examine predictions that southeastern states may be more affected by climate change than many northern states, offering a crystal ball into Georgia's environmental future. He will show how--as a result of global warming--the State of Georgia has achieved the dubious distinction of the worst place in the world for springtime allergies and other botanical curses. Porter will also include brief network news clips--these are the 'Cries and Whispers' that "must be our wake-up call."

    Porter, well known locally for his riveting and ethically concerned
    lectures, will "emphasize our visual understanding of how the world around us works and how it is changing," focusing on the complementary relationship between art and science. For example, he will show how the visualization of sound led to the first proof of glacial melt, or how Hollywood producer Frank Capra made critical contributions to our understanding of global warming (and why he majored in chemical engineering instead of film).
    *post-event note: Dr. Porter's recovery of footage from The Unchained Goddess, Capra's 1958 educational film on climate change and carbon emissions was eye-opening. See video link to YouTube clip above.

    Other fascinating facts will be revealed, such as how the events of 9/11 in New York translated into the first, and only, direct test of global warming theory in the skies over Atlanta will be explained.

    In Porter's words:

    "In planning for the future, problems are prioritized as either short-term
    threats or long-term vulnerabilities. Business and government generally focus on threats rather than vulnerabilities. The striking thing I will show in my talk at ATHICA, is that although most climate change scenarios have the long-term characteristics of vulnerabilities, their high degree of certainty actually gives them the immediacy and importance of short-term threats.  We must respond, and we must respond now."

    He continues:

    "Although climate change is occurring everywhere, some of its harshest effects will be felt in Georgia. Between rising temperatures, declining rainfall, and rising sea-levels, we are in for a bumpy ride."

    "We are not doing a good job of planning for climate change. We must, and I emphasize must, do a better job preparing for these inevitabilities. We must enlist all levels of government and all types of businesses to reduce our carbon emissions. Like passengers adrift in a life boat at sea, we must conserve everything. We must shift away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy sources, such as biofuels from southern switch grass. Because GA is in the sunbelt, its current temperature, rainfall, and the length of its growing season would allow GA to lead in this process."

    "Although global warming and global climate change issues are huge and
    complex, and therefore would benefit from serious attention from all nations and the world economy, a real irony is that solutions will also come from small actions by individuals. Knowledge is power. We do not have to wait for leadership from governments fueled by special interests, or businesses desperate for short-term profits, to create a sustainable future."

    Dr. Porter is the Meigs Professor of Ecology and Associate Dean of The
    Odum School of Ecology. As a researcher, he has conducted extensive studies of Florida Keys coral reefs for more than 25 years, publishing his findings in first-tier scientific journals, including Science, Nature, Ecology and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He has testified before Congress several times as well as appeared on major news networks. He received the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Sandy Beaver Teaching Award in 1988 and in 1999 was named the Institute of Ecology's first Outstanding Ecology Instructor. In 1993, he was awarded the University of Georgia's Creative Research Medal. He received his doctorate from Yale University.

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