The discussion among experts and the audience will take place Oct. 3 at the Allen Theatre in the Student Union Building.
Aside from politics, perhaps no subject has created more polarized points of view among the American public than climate change.
Even as temperatures continue to reach extremes and the intensity of hurricanes seems to have dramatically increased this season, climate change has been at the forefront of international discussions on sustainability, carbon emissions and global warming.
Though the public discourse on climate change often focuses on questions related to the science, the reason why it has become so politicized has nothing to do with science – and everything to do with solutions. At its core, climate change is a tragedy of the commons that requires collective action to solve; yet for many, collective action implies government legislation that must be avoided at all costs.
Is there a way to tackle this challenge? Are there climate solutions that would be acceptable across the political spectrum? Policy experts look for answers in a shifting political atmosphere that may signal less global cooperation; market analysts argue that market forces and capitalism are pivotal to shaping approaches to global warming; clean energy advocates point to the economic benefits of investing in the local economy.
Experts from Texas Tech University and an advocacy organization will pose a diverse range of perspectives on climate policy solutions, clean energy and what this means for Texas on Tuesday (Oct. 3) in the second installment of the Civil Counterpoints initiative at 5:30 p.m. in the Allen Theatre of the Texas Tech Student Union Building. Audience interaction is encouraged, and a reception with the expert guests will follow.
"Civil Counterpoints is a campus-wide dialogue series that encourages thoughtful discussions about controversial topics,” said Kent Wilkinson, the Thomas Jay Harris Regents Professor in Hispanic and International Communication in the College of Media & Communication. "The turmoil surrounding the 2016 election and troubles on a number of university campuses last year motivated a group of ideologically diverse faculty to organize a series of gatherings where expert guests interact with each other and the campus community.”
Experts for this installment of Civil Counterpoints include:
- Katharine Hayhoe, a professor in the Department of Political Science at Texas Tech, director of the Texas Tech Climate Science Center and an expert on climate science and its impacts
- Tracy Hresko Pearl, an associate professor in the Texas Tech School of Law and an expert on environmental law
- Michael Giberson, an associate professor of practice in the Rawls College of Business and member of the Free Market Institute, an economist specializing in U.S. energy policy and regulation and environmental economics
- Tom Smith, director of special projects in the Texas office of Public Citizen, a non-partisan citizens advocacy group and an expert on clean energy in Texas.
Eric Bucy, the Formby Professor of Strategic Communication in the College of Media & Communication, will moderate the discussion.
Civil Counterpoints is a collaboration among faculty members from the College of Media & Communication, the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources and the Honors College to encourage civility and open mindedness in discussions of controversial topics.
The event is free and open to the public.
For more information on Civil Counterpoints, including dates and topics for future discussions, go to its website.