First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, a Member Church of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and More Light Presbyterians

David Kay Memorial Public Seminar Series: Meeting the Challenges of Global Warming

David Kay Memorial Public Seminar Series: Meeting the Challenges of Global Warming. Sundays, October 14, 21 and 28. at 11:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.

Most climate scientists agree that carbon dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere following the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum, is the primary long-lived greenhouse gas responsible for climate change.  The increasing effects of climate change have become obvious in recent years and their growing impacts pose greater threats for future generations.  In a major September 10, 2018 speech on climate change United Nations Secretary General António Guterres stated “If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us.” This seminar series will cover what climate change means for the American people and steps being taken to confront it.  Highly qualified experts will present the three seminars.

October 14: The Science of Climate Change and What it Means for the American People. Don Wuebbles, The Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois. Coordinating Lead Author for the international Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment of climate change published in 2013; Co-leader of the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment published in 2017. The climate on our planet is changing rapidly.  Changes include increasing temperatures, melting glaciers, shrinking sea ice and rising sea levels.  Extreme events are more frequent, intense, or of longer duration and are expected to increase or worsen over this century and beyond.  This presentation provides an overview of the science of climate change, and what it means to the American people and our planet.

October 21: Ongoing Progress in Fighting Climate Change in the United States. Donald Fournier, Energy Consultant. Retired Chair of the Building Research Council and Program Manager for Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC), University of Illinois. In spite of the current USA administration’s efforts to reverse the Obama presidency’s policies aimed at confronting climate change, progress is being made to address this urgent environmental problem. This seminar will place emphasis on the progress that is being made and the steps required to for rapid decarbonization in the near future. Adaptation to the coming inevitable climate changes will also be discussed.

October 28: Government Policies to Deal With Climate Change. Don Fullerton, Gutgsell, Professor, Department of Finance and Institute of Public Affairs (Associate Director), University of Illinois. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary (Tax Analysis), U.S. Treasury Department.  As a state of Illinois consultant, Dr. Fullerton examines the use of taxes as a means to address climate change and obtain needed revenue. We suffer from a host of environmental problems that interact with each other, including climate change, local air pollution, chemical waste, water pollution, and solid waste disposal. Policies to deal with these problems also interact with each other. This presentation will consider the interactions, and how government can balance policies to deal with multiple problems.