‘Bridging Differences’ Climate Change Conference Slated for Branch Campus
SUNY Plattsburgh at Queensbury, in collaboration with SUNY Adirondack and North Country Climate Reality, will host “Bridging Differences on the Razor’s Edge,” a virtual and in-person conference on climate change, Thursday, Oct. 21, from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Queensbury campus.
The event will feature renowned authors on climate change, Kathrine Hayhoe and Bill McKibben, who will discuss successful solutions and how to expedite and encourage action.
“Climate change is unequivocally humanity’s greatest threat ever, and yet we find ourselves on the razor’s edge when broaching the subject with others,” said Dr. Stephen Danna, dean of the SUNY Plattsburgh at the branch campus.
“Why is that the case, and what do we do about it? How do we get past the cognitive dissonance that muddles the difficult discussions and actions so desperately needed now? How do we find hope through others?
“This conference offers the hope we desperately need,” he said. “’Bridging Differences on the Razor’s Edge’ will help us discover how to have critical climate change conversations with others, regardless of their position on the subject.”
Author, Environmental Activist
McKibben, founder and senior adviser emeritus of global grassroots climate campaign 350.org, is author of “The End of Nature,” regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. Written in 1989, it has been translated into 24 languages. In addition to writing several other books and contributing to national publications, McKibben is known for his environmental activism, including helping to organize Step It Up 2007, described as the largest day of protest about climate change in the nation’s history.
The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt., he is the recipient of numerous awards including the Gandhi Peace Prize and what is sometimes referred to as the alternative Nobel Prize, the Right Livelihood Award, in the Swedish Parliament. In addition, he holds honorary degrees from 19 colleges and universities including SUNY, which bestowed the honorary degree of humane letters upon him at the 2007 winter commencement at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Hayhoe is an accomplished atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and why it matters to us here and now. The recipient of the National Center for Science Education’s Friend of the Planet award, the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize, the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award, among others, Hayhoe finds herself on such lists as Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” Foreign Policy’s “100 Leading Thinkers,” Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Greatest Leaders,” and the United Nations’ “Champion of the Earth in Science and Innovation.”
Her writing has appeared in a broad range of outlets, including the New York Times, Wired, O Magazine and Chatelaine. Her TED Talk, “The Most Important Thing You Can Do to Fight Climate Change: Talk About It,” has nearly 4 million views, and her most recent book, “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World,” was published by Simon and Schuster Sept. 21.
‘There is Hope’
In addition to the keynote addresses, the conference will also include remarks and introductions by Danna and a conversation between Hayhoe and McKibben with an audience Q&A to follow.
“The window for action is rapidly closing, and we are basically at a ‘now or never’ position when it comes to climate change adaptation and mitigation,” Danna said. “There is hope; and it begins with simple conversation.”
Registration for “Bridging Differences” is $25 general admission; free to students.