The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Mulkey's Call to Action

Posted by | May 28, 2013

The nearly 40 people who attended Dr. Stephen Mulkey's "Crisis and Opportunity in the Environmental Century" Climate Stewards lecture in mid-May left with a clear message: We are out of time and we must act now.

Mulkey began his talk with a quote from David Orr, "All education is environmental education… by what is included or excluded we teach the young that they are part of, or apart from, the natural world." Mulkey crowdMulkey spoke of his (incredible) work as President of Unity College, becoming the first college in the country to divest from fossil fuels, as well as recently integrating climate change education across the entire curriculum. Unity's students study the complexity of interactions among the economy, society, and nature--a framework for the future known as "sustainability science."

Mulkey stressed the importance of being solutions-focused with students. He personally accompanies them in busloads to D.C., where they express their environmental views while surrounding the White House. He encouraged everyone in the auditorium to do the same—to put aside our genteel tendencies and get out on the streets with kids to let our voices be heard year-round—not just on Election Day—and access our government officials to let them know how we feel.

Mulkey reminded us that the concentrations of carbon dioxide are now higher than they have been in the past four million years, and the rate of carbon dioxide increase is faster than at any time in the past 65 million years. Mulkey slideThe Gulf of Maine is now experiencing 150-year record high ocean temperatures. The pace of ecological change is accelerating, Mulkey noted, and communities, ecosystems, and biomes will fundamentally change with many species going extinct.

Towards the end of his lecture, Mulkey stressed that it is an ethical obligation to implement sustainable practices and prepare our students with a solutions-based approach. He asked us all, "Will you be able to look in the mirror and say, 'I did the best I could'?"

At the end of the presentation, two lucky winners received copies of a Stephen Mulkey-recommended read: America the Possible by Gus Speth. Mulkey is pictured below with one of them.

Raffle winner and Mulkey

The Climate Stewards Lecture Series is funded by NOAA's Climate Stewards Education Project. Following are links to information about upcoming lectures in the series:

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