Dixie State University to host climate discussion forums

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ST. GEORGE — The Dixie State University Sustainability Club is teaming up with the institution’s Biology and Physical Science departments to sponsor an educational forum on clean air and climate solutions.

“Southern Utah Climate Discussions” will be held at noon on Dec. 7 in Dixie State’s Gardner Center Living Room and then again at 7 p.m. in the Zion Room, located on the fifth floor of DSU’s Holland Centennial Commons. Admission to the forums is free, and the community is encouraged to attend.

At both presentations, keynote speaker Dr. Robert Davies, an associate professor in Utah State University’s Department of Physics, will discuss the causes and effects, danger and urgency, and solutions and actions communities can take in regards to climate change and air pollution.

“I’m excited that a discussion like this is going to happen on our campus,” Cameron Carlson, president of DSU’s Sustainability Club, said. “The global anthropogenic climate change occurring is a pressing issue that will even affect us living here in Washington County.”

Tom Butine, in a submitted opinion piece announcing the event to St. George News, wrote:

As a retired engineer-scientist for the Boeing Company, I decided to explore the hubbub over climate change.   Most of us have had the basic science classes that explains what happens when fossil fuels are burned and how that effects the carbon cycle.  Even though it may have been a long time for many of us, it shouldn’t be surprising that there is some impact.  All of those emissions have to go somewhere, and they’re going to affect something.  It’s more complicated to understand and predict the effects of continuing our current level of fossil fuel burning, where they will be felt, and when.  I was pretty surprised, shocked actually, by the factors that are accelerating the impacts and the very real challenges they will present to our grandchildren.  I was even more surprised by the difficulty of political action to address them.

The Dec. 7 forum offers, Butine wrote, a respectful forum to learn about and question the science, and also a listening session for federal, state and local representatives, providing them an opportunity to hear what attendees think.  The state Legislature passed a resolution in 2010, he added, asking “…the United States Environmental Protection Agency to cease its carbon dioxide reduction policies, programs, and regulations until climate data and global warming science are substantiated.”

The forum discussion will explore whether or not that point has been reached, Butine said, noting that a new resolution will be presented in the 2018 legislative session, initiated by high school and college students, those who will feel the brunt of climate changes’ impacts, declaring that the data and science have been substantiated, and it is time for action.

During the forum, attendees will be encouraged to ask tough questions about the science of climate change while learning more about the issue, the Sustainability Club’s release said.

“Earth and its resources support our daily lives and our current lifestyles,” Carlson said. “The forum will be a space where we can all come together and work toward solutions on climate change from a local approach.”

For more information about DSU’s Sustainability Club or the discussions, contact sustainability@dixie.edu.

Event details

  • What: “Southern Utah Climate Discussions” forums.
  • When: Thursday, Dec. 7, at noon and at 7 p.m.
  • Where: The noon forum will be at Dixie State University’s Gardner Center Living Room. The evening forum will be in the Zion Room, on the fifth floor of DSU’s Holland Centennial Commons building.
  • Details: Both events free and open to the public.

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2 Comments

  • beacon December 3, 2017 at 7:26 am

    I hope that citizens will turn out for this Dec. 7 event to learn about what it’s all about and get answers to questions and express concerns. All sides need to be heard on this important matter. Some major businesses are concerned about the U.S. backing out of the Paris Agreement and see the challenges we face with regard to climate change even if the administration does not. Let’s learn not just take a position without knowledge. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/01/trump-climate-change-paris-withdrawal-ford-walmart?CMP=share_btn_link

  • Dennis December 4, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    Salt Lake City will be as pollute as Beijing pretty soon. Way to go state legislators and county commissioners!!

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