Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium

 Higher Education connecting, collaborating and taking action


"Changing the Moral Climate on Climate Change" a PERC Member School Event

  • 30 Apr 2012
  • 7:00 PM - 9:30 PM
  • 101 Thomas Building, University Park, PA
Changing the Moral Climate on Climate Change
Five Penn Staters Discuss the Need to Educate Civil Society About The Climate Change Denial Machine

Because climate change is real and urgent threat to people and ecological systems on which life depends, it is time for universities to educate civil society about all aspects of human-induced warming  Skepticism in science is a good thing that should be encouraged, but for over twenty years there has been a climate change denial machine that has engaged in morally abhorrent tactics that must be distinguished from reasonable skepticism.  Because so much is at stake with climate change, there is an urgent need for higher education to educate civil society about the indefensible tactics of the climate change disinformation campaign.

On April 30th at 7 pm in room 101 Thomas Building at Penn State’s University Park, a group of esteemed Penn State faculty and one graduate student/lecturer will confront the climate change denial machine.  Over the last few years, we have been deeply discouraged by the successful efforts of “the merchants of doubt,” a well-organized and well-funded climate change disinformation campaign.

We will call on the University to educate civil society about the disinformation campaign to fulfill its educational role in a democratic society. We will explain the so-called “skeptics” campaign and who is behind it, distinguishing between deceitful disinformation from responsible skepticism. We will explore the problems colleges and universities face in a democratic society whose economy runs on fossil fuels. We will also explore relevant psychology findings around climate change. We will explore a college class that has confronted climate denial directly and learn about the backlash the teacher received. Finally, we will hear from Dr. Michael Mann who has been at the epicenter of the international assault on mainstream science.

Presentations come from
  • Dr. (Juris) Donald Brown from Science, Technology, and Society and former Clinton administration UN representative,
  • Peter Buckland, A.B.D. in Educational Theory and Policy,
  • Dr. Janet Swim from Psychology and chair of the 2009 American Psychological Associations task force on the psychology of climate change,
  • Dr. Rick Shuhmann of Mechanical Engineering and the Engineering Leadership program, and
  • Dr. Michael Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, Nobel-Prize co-winner for his work on the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and author of The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.
Presentations run 15 minutes with Dr. Mann’s taking 30 minutes. Q & A will follow. Presenters will be available for comment after the event.
If you have questions, contact Peter Buckland Phone: 814.206.4959 Email:

  • Penn State’s Center for Sustainability,
  • The Rock Ethics Institute At Penn State University, The Penn State Program on Science, Technology, and Society,
  • Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future,
  • Elk County C.A.R.E.S.,
  • Juniata Valley Audubon Society,
  • National Wildlife Federation,
  • Pennsylvanians for Clean Air and Water,
  • PennEnvironment,
  • Sierra Club Pennsylvania,
  • Sierra Club Moshannon,
  • Sustainability Now Radio,
  • Voices of Central Pennsylvania,
  • The Interfaith Coalition on the Environment, and Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium.

April 30th, 7 pm – 9:30 pm

101 Thomas Building, University Park, PA

PERC - Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium

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