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Bard College Joins Largest Teach-In in United States History

Mark Primoff


Over One Thousand Campuses Help Focus Nation on Solutions to Global Warming


ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—On Friday, February 1, Bard College will participate in Focus the Nation, an unprecedented teach-in on global warming solutions. “Today’s college students are truly the greatest generation,” says Lewis and Clark professor of economics Eban Goodstein, author and project director for Focus the Nation. “No other generation has ever had to face this kind of civilizational challenge. And we as educators would be failing if we did not prepare them to meet this challenge.”


The daylong series of events, “Stabilizing the Climate in the 21st Century—Global Warming Solutions for America,” hosted by Bard College on February 1 includes panel discussions by 20 faculty members and community experts; an all-local harvest lunch; alternate vehicle demonstration; exhibition; film screenings; theater presentation; and a “green democracy” roundtable with civic leaders and students, moderated by Bard College’s President Leon Botstein, who recently signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment that calls for the College to create a plan for climate neutrality.


The nationwide teach-in is to include members of Congress. In the event that members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives cannot return to their districts for these discussions, Focus the Nation has partnered with a company called SightSpeed to provide live, video-conferencing technology between campuses and Congress.


The public is invited and encouraged to attend any of the events without charge. To register, visit

“There has been a truly interdisciplinary response from the Bard community in preparing for this conference,” says Laurie Husted, Bard’s environmental auditor. “Not only are all four of our divisions represented, but there are more than two dozen artists who have contributed to a climate change art show, as well as a theater workshop during the evening. There is a general understanding that we cannot solve the problem using science alone.”


The national teach-in kicks off at on Wednesday, January 30, with a screening of Bard professor Joel Kovel's documentary, A Really Inconvenient Truth, followed by The 2% Solution, a webcast coproduced by the National Wildlife Federation and aired by the Earth Day Network. Panelists include Stanford climate scientist Stephen Schneider; L. Hunter Lovins, CEO of Natural Capitalism and environmental justice leader; and Van Jones, executive director of the Ella Baker Center in Oakland, California. The webcast will be aired in Bard’s newly constructed Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation.


The final piece of Focus the Nation’s teach-in model will be the “Choose Your Future” vote. All student, faculty, and community participants are encouraged to vote on what they think are the top five solutions to global warming from a list of 10 to 15 available starting Monday, January 21, at Results will be presented nationally in mid February. All students who vote on the “Choose Your Future” ballot will be eligible to win a $10,000 leadership scholarship for a project to be completed by August 31, 2008.


For more information on Bard College and participation in Focus the Nation, visit,, or contact Laurie Husted at 845-758-7180 or The program is supported by the Bard Environmental Resources Department (BERD), Bard Center for Environmental Policy (BCEP), Chartwells, and Office of the Dean of the College/Academic Affairs at Bard, as well as Berkshire Taconic Foundation and Neighborhood Earth Watch.



Focus the Nation is an unprecedented educational initiative on global warming solutions for America occurring at more than 1,000 universities and colleges and in all 50 states on January 31, 2008 and at Bard on February 1, 2008. As the largest teach-in in U.S. history, Focus the Nation is preparing millions of students to become leaders in the largest civilizational challenge any generation has faced. For more information, visit


“Critical decisions need to be made on global warming, which means today’s leaders and the youth who will inherit the crisis need serious education on the issue,” said James “Gus” Speth, dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. “Focus the Nation is our country’s foremost model to create that level of education and interaction with lawmakers.”


Focus the Nation at Bard College: Schedule of Events


Monday, January 21, through Friday, February 1

Focus the Nation: Choose Your Future

Vote at


Wednesday, January 30

Focus the Nation: Film Screening

6:30 p.m.

A Really Inconvenient Truth documentary by Bard Professor Joel Kovel.

Kovel explores the issue of what is “really inconvenient” - “the truth that global warming is directly related to the uncontrolled growth of the dominant world capitalist system” Room 101, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation.

Focus the Nation: Webcast

8:00 p.m.

The 2% Solution

Stanford University climate scientist Stephen Schneider, sustainability expert L. Hunter Lovins, green jobs pioneer Van Jones, and youth climate leaders discuss global warming solutions.

Location: Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation


Friday, February 1, through Thursday, February 7


Friday, February 1

Focus the Nation: Teach-In

“Stabilizing the Climate in the 21st Century—Global Warming Solutions for America”


10:00 a.m.

Panel discussion 1: “Applied Science and Technology Solutions”

Panelists: William Schlesinger, president, Institute for Ecosystem Studies; Matthew Deady, professor of physics, Bard College; Catherine O’Reilly, assistant professor of biology, Bard College

Moderator: Felicia Keesing, associate professor of biology, Bard College

Location: Bertelsmann Campus Center


11:45 a.m.

Panel discussion 2: “Motivating Change”

Panelists: Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Bard chaplain; Deirdre d’Albertis, associate professor of English, Bard College; Susan Fox Rogers, visiting assistant professor of writing and First-Year Seminar, Bard College; Geoffrey Sanborn, associate professor of literature, Bard College
Moderator: Daniel Berthold, professor of philosophy, Bard College

Location: Bertelsmann Campus Center


11:45 a.m.

Panel discussion 3: “Growing a Solution”

Panelists: Gidon Eshel, Bard Center Visiting Fellow, Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College; Conrad Vispo, farm ecologist, Hawthorne Valley Farm; William Jordan, Jordan Energy and Food Enterprises, LLC

Moderator: Jennifer Phillips, BCEP faculty member, Bard College

Location: Bertelsmann Campus Center


1:00 p.m.

All-Local Harvest Lunch: A “Zero Waste” Event

Local produce and goods from Hudson Valley Fresh, Old Saw Mill Farm, Roxbury Farms, and Stone Ridge Orchard, followed by alternate vehicle demonstration.

Location: Stevenson Gymnasium

2:15 p.m.

Panel discussion 4: “What about China?”

Panelists: Robert Culp, associate professor of history, Bard College; Chris Coggins, professor of geography and Asian studies, Bard College at Simon’s Rock: The Early College; Chunyan Chai, BCEP graduate student

Location: Bertelsmann Campus Center


2:15 p.m.

Panel discussion 5: “Economic Solutions”

Panelists: Kris Feder, associate professor of economics, Bard College; Gautam Sethi, BCEP faculty member; Bard College

Moderator: John Cronin, director and CEO, The Beacon Institute, and director, Pace Academy for the Environment, Pace University

Location: Bertelsmann Campus Center


3:30 p.m.

Roundtable: “Green Democracy,” discussion with elected officials, moderated by Bard President Leon Botstein

Invited panelists: Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, Governor Eliot Spitzer

Location: Bertelsmann Campus Center


5:00 p.m.

Panel discussion 6: “Motivating Change: The Politics of Change”

Panelists: Mark Lindeman, assistant professor of political studies, Bard College; Mark Lytle, professor of history, Bard College; Gregory Moynahan, assistant professor of history, Bard College; Roberto Vélez-Vélez, visiting lecturer in sociology, Bard College

Moderator: Andrew Revkin, New York Times reporter and BCEP faculty member

Location: Bertelsmann Campus Center


5:00 p.m.

Panel discussion 7: “Local Responses—Partnerships for Solutions”

Panelists: Jim Brudvig, vice president for administration, Bard College; Melissa Everett, director, Sustainable Hudson Valley; Kristen Marcell, Department of Environmental Conservation, climate change; Scudder H. Parker, energy consultant

Moderator: Jonathan Becker, associate dean of the College, dean of international studies, Bard College

Location: Bertelsmann Campus Center


6:30 p.m.

Art show opening reception: Regarding Global Warming and Climate Change

Organized by Sigrid Sandström, assistant professor of studio arts, Bard College


Masked theater presentation: Letters from Xperts

Organized by Shelley Wyant, visiting assistant professor of theater, Bard College

Location: Bertelsmann Campus Center


8:30 p.m.

Film Screenings

Location: Weis Cinema, Bertelsmann Campus Center



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This event was last updated on 02-04-2008