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Loyola holds fifth Hanway Lecture in Global Studies


“Science really does work,” Dr. Richard Alley said at the Hanway Lecture in Global Studies, held on Sept. 19.

Alley, a renowned scientist from the Pennsylvania State University, joined two other climate change advocates to inform and educate Loyola students, faculty, and members of the surrounding community about the pressing and controversial subject of climate change.

The theme for the well-attended event was “Climate Change: The Causes, The Challenges, The Consequences,” and although the subject is controversial, the speakers all agreed that we have a desperate need to talk about it.

Alley began the evening’s discussion by stressing that climate change is real. However, he believes that humans aren’t the only ones to blame. Alley expressed the overwhelming effect that carbon dioxide has had on our environment.

To Alley, natural changes in carbon dioxide levels have been the biggest cause of climate change, and he mentioned the possibilities of destruction and turmoil in our future if we do not restrain it. These possibilities include stronger storms, heat stress on both humans and crops, sea level rise, tropical diseases, and devastating losses for the poor who live in hot places.

Even though the negative effects may seem daunting, there are actions that we can take to prevent the furthering of the impact of climate change.

The second speaker of the night, Dr. Francisco Alpizar, associate professor at the University of Gothenburg, believes that we can make a difference if we are well-informed and understand that adaptation is necessary.

“The first step towards adaptation to future climate change is reducing the vulnerability and exposure to present climatic variability,” Alpizar said.

Alpizar urged us that us that if we want to make a change, the time is now. Our climate is rapidly changing, and we need to adapt in order to prepare for a better future.

“We cannot allow ourselves to be sitting ducks,” he said.

The last speaker of the night was Dr. Danny Richter, legislative and science director for Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a non-profit “advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.”

The members of Citizen’s Climate Lobby “want to create the political will for a livable world,” and want to remind us that members of Congress may not be who we think they are. Richter wanted us to reflect on the fact that members of Congress are normal people who get overwhelmed, have families, and want to do good in the world.

Richter and the other passionate members of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby encouraged lecture attendees to get involved and know that our voices can be heard.

This particular lecture was the fifth in Loyola’s Hanway Lecture Series, which “brings noteworthy leaders to campus to share timely, relevant insight into today’s global society,” according to the event program.

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Loyola holds fifth Hanway Lecture in Global Studies