Evergreen Magazine

Hello Climate Change: TEDxThe Evergreen State College

TEDxThe Evergreen State College
Steve Verhey, executive director of Cascadia Carbon Institute, gives a presentation on Education and Climate Change at TEDx on Monday, Apr. 17, 2012. Photo by Shauna Bittle '98.

Climate change has broad implications not only for the world’s physical, chemical and biological systems, but also for political, economic and social policy. Because it affects such a wide variety of disciplines, it requires an interdisciplinary approach to understand it and deal with its impacts on present and future generations.

Last April, more than 300 people gathered to learn more about this pressing global challenge at the first TEDx event held by Evergreen—a leader in both environmental and interdisciplinary education. Called “Hello Climate Change: Rethinking the Unthinkable,” the event provided the community with a unique opportunity to find out and think about the problem from a wide variety of disciplines and to explore its repercussions and the possible approaches to tackling it.

“What is it going to take? What can we do to move? What can we do to create some change?” asked Julia Field, founder and director of the Seattle-based nonprofit Undriving, which promotes alternatives to car use. TEDx The Evergreen State College hoped to answer those questions, and more.

Nearly a dozen speakers gave talks at the one-day program. Topics ranged from a summary of the regional effects of climate change by Jeremy Littell of the University of Washington Climate Resource Group to a stripped-down description of the issue by David Roberts of Grist.com.

Other speakers included Yoram Bauman, a University of Washington environmental economist; and Evergreen alumna and professional storyteller Elizabeth Lord ’95. On-campus experts included faculty members Anne de Marcken, Larry Geri, Zoltan Grossman, Carolyn Prouty, Steve Verhey and Bret Weinstein.

“Hello, Climate Change” was organized by a committee of students, faculty and staff at the college and funded by the student Clean Energy Committee with support from Evergreen’s Master of Environmental Studies and Master of Public Administration programs. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TED talks are devoted to disseminating “Ideas Worth Spreading.”

All of the presentations given at “Hello Climate Change” can be viewed online.