Professor warns audience of the dangers of global warming

Kesha Williams
July 23, 2008

Professor Mohan Munasinghe, Vice Chairman of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Geneva, warned an audience at ECSU of the dangers of global warming during the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series luncheon. Munasinghe is the author of over 90 books and over 300 technical papers on economics, sustainable development, climate change, power, energy, water resources, transport, environment, disasters, and information technology. He is Chairman of the Munasinghe Institute of Development (MIND) and a member of IPCC, the co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. According to the Nobel Foundation, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to an individual, Al Gore and to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change." The lecture drew ECSU students, staff, faculty; the ECSU Board of Trustees; city officials, citizens from nearby counties and students from area middle schools. Munasinghe warned that global warming is related to several environmental and socioeconomic factors that will impact people worldwide. He advised students to excel in their chosen fields of study and to respect the research of scholars in various academic andprofessional disciplines. Each segment of the population, he warned, will face new challenges in the next century as sources of energy disappear and alternatives are adapted. "Business, government and citizens must work together. The economic, environmental and social aspects of this challenge must be balanced to achieve sustainable development. Fifty to 75 million people could be displaced [within this century] unless we conserve and adjust the way we live," Munasinghe said. Munasinghe said there are decisions consumers can make every day to conserve energy and set lifestyle patterns that will reduce the waste of current energy sources. Examples included cleaning litter from yards, shorelines and streams; selecting appliances, lights and vehicles that are energy efficient. Climate changes are certain he said and will affect everything from agriculture and business trends to personal lifestyles. Munasinghe said the rising number of natural disasters will have multiple, negative affects as victims struggle to replace damaged homes and businesses. Countries that lack the ability to provide adequate social services or economic relief following natural disasters, are especially vulnerable he said. ECSU sponsors for the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture Series luncheon included: The Division of Academic Affairs, The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, The Center of Excellence in Remote Sensing Education and Research Computational Science -Scientific Visualization center The Global Leadership Academy Additional sponsors: The US Department of Agriculture The Virginia-North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation