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Human aspects of climate change to be focus of conference at Illinois

A conference at the University of Illinois will bring together scholars from various disciplines and the news media to stimulate dialogue and share research on climate change and on humans' ever-changing relation to climate. Current reporting on climate change is overwhelmingly driven by scientific projections and policy debates over industry regulation. This conference is intended to tell the human side of the story.

"Planet U: The Human Story of Climate Change," to take place April 8-10 on the Urbana campus, is expected to attract speakers from the sciences, humanities, and the news media to encourage more effective communication among the academy, the media and the general public. The conference will emphasize the human story of climate change, from the volcanic catastrophes of pre-history, to the rise and decline of civilizations, to our own intensifying sense of vulnerability on a warming planet.

Among the speakers will be Brian Fagan, a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the author of four books on ancient climate change and human society; Michael Hawthorne, environment reporter for the Chicago Tribune; Lisa J. Lucero, a professor of anthropology at Illinois whose research focuses on the emergence and demise of political power, water management, climate change and civilization; Andrew C. Revkin, the author of The New York Times blog "Dot Earth"; Michael E. Schlesinger, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Illinois; and Dan Vergano, a science writer for USA Today.

"Studying the rise and fall of Classic Maya kings and the critical role climate change played in their demise made me appreciate how similar stories are occurring today," said Lucero, who has conducted research on the ancient Maya in Belize for 20 years. "I came away wondering what lessons we can learn from the past."


Contact: Sharita Forrest
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Page: 1

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