The Future of Carbon


Edison plant on the Illinois state line near Hammond, Indiana, circa 1973. WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Recently, I had the privilege of participating in a panel on climate change sponsored by the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN) and The Engineering Transdisciplinary Outreach Project in the Arts (ETOPiA). The panel discussion was paired with a dance performance by The Seldoms, entitled "Exit Disclaimer: Science and Fiction Ahead." The dance explored the science and policy of climate change, inspiring a wonderful discussion with the audience. As I've stated many times, I'm a huge proponent of combining art and science, and thought the event was a perfect example of a successful merging of the two.

This Friday, ISEN and the Earth and Planetary Science Department (along with several other departments*) is hosting its fourth Climate Change Symposium, which is sure to delve even deeper into the issues surrounding this very important topic! According to one of the event organizers Brad Sageman, who is also Chair of Northwestern's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, "the main goal of the Northwestern Climate Change Symposium is to bring expert speakers to campus who can deliver up-to-date and accessible information to members of the Northwestern, Evanston and Chicago-area communities."  

The three previous editions have covered areas ranging from international policy to local sustainable efforts, global warming effects on biosphere in the past and the present, and health consequences. This fourth symposium will focus on carbon, a global warming main trigger. Sageman says the experts invited will address issues such as the influence of shale gas and fracking on climate change, carbon capture, political challenges of carbon management, and much more. With the implementation of the first large-scale carbon storage sites in several states, including Illinois, it is more necessary than ever to increase our knowledge of these important and often controversial topics, he says.

If you are passionate about climate change awareness, interested in learning more about the latest sustainable research and innovations, or simply wish you knew more about how climate change is impacting our planet, then this day-long event is sure to deliver. I hope to see you there!

Check out the online program to learn more about individual speakers and to RSVP.

*The Fourth Northwestern University Climate Change Symposium is sponsored by the Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), the Programs in Environmental Sciences, Environmental Engineering and Environmental Policy and Culture (EPC), the Plant Biology and Conservation Program, the Alumnae of Northwestern University, and the Medill School of Journalism



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