--celebrity + charity + global relief--1000 colleges nationwide are uniting on January 31st to do one simple thing; discuss global warming. The initiative is spearheaded by Focus the Nation, an environmental advocacy group based out of Oregon and backed by a slate of players ranging from civic groups, to faith based organizations to universities and corporations nationwide. The unprecedented event anticipates to reach millions of students nationwide.
The organization aims to devote a "day when an entire school turns its attention to a single issue -- when faculty, student, and staff put aside business as usual, and focus the full weight of the campus engagement on one topic." Focus the Nation hopes that encouraging students will help them adopt policy solutions on global warming that then will be lobbied to their congressman. Participating universities are aggressively behind the effort - some canceling campus wide classes, while other are integrating the issues of global warming into their curriculum for the day.
But the exciting event has its share of critics. George C. Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom (a conservative Think Tank) made the usual argument against the proof of global warming, "I've talked to way too many scientists - many of whom are on the IPCC [the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] - who look at the data and don't see a human footprint." Landrith and his colleagues assert that climate fluctuation have occurred throughout history, and that the growth in concern and current scientific evidence is misleading.
Skeptics aside, the Focus the Nation effort is growing in it support base with universities and individual and corporate supporters. In addition to the January 31st event, the organization offers year round educational solutions for high schools and K-12, and a series of scholarship awarding competition to students of all ages. The organization clearly understands that the future is in the hands of the youngest citizens, and is making best efforts to build awareness on the climate cause.
For more information on Focus the Nation, go to www.focusthenation.org