Event offers climate change views

By Olivia Jones | @KyKernel

[email protected]

UK students and the public are invited to warm up to different perspectives on climate change Thursday at the Student Center.

“We’ve tried to teach it in the classroom setting where we present the facts and let the facts fend for themselves,” said Paul Vincelli, an extension professor and provost’s distinguished service professor of the UK Department of Plant Pathology.

“But it’s not enough to just present the facts … we can’t ignore the science.”

As global citizens, it’s important to become educated on this topic, Vincelli said. Although there are some uncertainties, climate change is well established in the mainstream world of science.

“Climate Change: Values, National Security, and Free Enterprise” will feature three mainstream scientific experts, each with a different viewpoint on the topic, beginning at 7 p.m.

“We have been planning this event since last fall,” said Carol Hanley, the director of UK’s environmental and natural resources initiative.

One of the speakers, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, specializes in who climate change will affect while incorporating a faith-based element.

“I would hate for anybody to miss her,” Vincelli said. “I think she’s so important because there are so many people of faith in this country and most people don’t realize that there are ways in which this topic relates.”

Steven Andersen, a retired brigadier general, will focus on how climate change relates to national security, while Bob Inglis, the director of a national energy and enterprise initiative, will center on how climate change relates to free enterprise.

“If a person tends to strongly value free enterprise, then they can know there’s an association with climate. This topic has developed a values component,” Vincelli said.

Vincelli pointed out that although different, each of the speakers agrees on the fundamental science behind climate change.

“They have the special quality of being able to reach a wide variety of people, to give talks that will resonate with most Kentuckians and Americans,” Vincelli said.