Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions for America

Focus the Nation is a national teach-in on global warming solutions for America—creating a dialogue at over a thousand colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools, places of worship, civic organizations and businesses, and directly engaging millions of students and citizens with the nation’s decision-makers. The students at UNC signed onto this initiative in the fall of 2006 and have been working since then to put together an event that will bring the community together around this important discussion.

In support of the student effort, Orange County and the Town of Carrboro have officially proclaimed January 31, 2008 as Climate Change Awareness Day and the Town of Chapel Hill will be making a similar proclamation very soon.

Please join the students in the activities they have planned or through private discussions with your family and friends.


January 30
Great Hall of the Student Union
6:00 pm: Environmental Social
Meet local governmental leaders, environmental faculty, and other leaders on and off campus. Beverages and finger food will be served.

7 pm: Governmental Panel
Hear local and state government leaders discuss solutions to climate change. Featuring: Robert Cox (Sierra Club President), Eleanor Kinnaird (NC Senate); Pricey Harrison and Ty Harrell (NC House of Representatives); Mark Chilton (Carrboro Mayor)

8 pm: The 2% Solution Webcast
Can we as a nation cut global warming pollution 2% a year for the next decade? If so, what would it take?

January 31
10 am, Cogeneration Tour
Meet at the front door of the Cogen building, 575 W. Cameron Avenue to get an exclusive tour of our university's cogeneration plant, where UNC gets is power and one of the most efficient coal powered plants in the country!

11:00 - 5:00 pm, Focus the National Carnival
Student music and dance performances, faculty discussion panel, and various other environmental speakers, and educational displays.

4 pm, Fedex Global Education Center building tour
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the newest green building on campus. Meet in the front lobby , 301 Pittsboro Street

7 pm, UNC v Boston College
No tickets? No problem! Come to the Great Hall at the Student Union and cheer the team on to victory.

10 pm, Save the Ales
Come by W.B. Yeats to celebrate our cause and learn how climate change will affect our brews while grooving to live music. (Sponsored by Epsilon Eta)





It's great to have our local leaders and students working together.

I'd also encourage folks to tour the Cogeneration Plant on Thursday morning -  nothing like getting inside, talking with the operators and engineers and learning about how cogen works and the important part the plant plays in Carolina's energy system planning.


Well, I won't be at any of the events...I'm still gimping about and saving my energy for the grocery store...but I will share this info with quite a few folks. (I love the internet!) Hope you get a good turn-out!



I'm coming to as many of the events as my schedule allows, but we'll have to wait and see how many that ends up being... Definitely the Wednesday events, but I've really always wanted to tour the cogeneration facility, so hopefully that's in the cards as well. Ironically, several of the folks in the Institute for the Environment who I've heard comment on the "newest green building on campus," (many UNC-IE offices are across the street in Miller Hall) have called it ugly, out of place, complained about the corporate name sellout, or had hoped it had actually been greener. While giving credit where credit is due, I hope the tours also point out some of the failings in these two facilities and how students can lobby to ensure future university construction adheres to stricter environmental standards.

Jason--I'll be helping lead the Global Ed tour. Hope to see you there so we can talk about the issues you raise (except the corporate name thing which is beyond our scope of influence).
I look forward to it!  I hope I didn't sound too critical above; what I was really getting at were elements that included things like: "We did X because it was the best decision we could have made with the funding we had available, but if we had more dollars allocated to green innovation, we would have chosen Y."  That's what I'm particularly interested in.  What would the sustainability office have liked to have done given a larger budget, and how can we rally people around the cause of allocating funding in a way more advantageous to green design?  Likewise with the cogen plant, while I'm interested in what good things have been done, I'm also particularly excited by what options we can explore to continue to improve efficiency, decrease emissions, and get our infrastructure ready to more quickly transition to a non-coal alternative for power in the (near?) future.

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