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
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
-Scientific Visualization center
The Global Leadership Academy
The US Department of Agriculture
The Virginia-North Carolina Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation