AUSTIN, Texas—A large group of scientists, engineers, economists and government officials will gather at The University of Texas at Austin on Tuesday (March 7) to debate scientific and political issues related to global warming.
At the center of the discussion will be the issue of whether the United States and other nations should ratify the controversial Protocol on Global Climate Change adopted at the world summit in Kyoto, Japan.
The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Bass Lecture Hall, located at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. The event is free and open to the public, and free parking is available in the LBJ Library parking lot at 26th and Red River streets.
The program will open with a debate between two leading climatologists who hold opposing views on global warming. Speaking on behalf of the view that global warming is a scientific reality with long-term consequences is Mike MacCraken, executive director of the U.S. Global Change National Assessment Coordination Office in Washington, D.C. Taking the view that global climate change cannot be proved scientifically is Patrick J. Michaels, Virginia state climatologist and a professor of environmental science at the University of Virginia. A panel discussion will follow the debate.
The next session will offer opposing views on the Kyoto Protocol, focusing particularly on whether ratifying the agreement is in the United States’ best interest. On the pro side of the debate are John Gibson, who heads the White House Task Force on Global Climate Change, and Eban Goodstein, economics professor at Lewis and Clark College and author of a recent book on the Kyoto Protocol. Speaking against ratification will be Floy Lilley, program manager of the Clint W. Murchison Sr. Chair in Free Enterprise at UT Austin, and Peter Wilcoxen, UT Austin associate professor of economics.
The final presentation will focus on the issue of whether the Kyoto Protocol should be ratified by developing countries. Leading the discussion will be Christina Figueres, founder and executive director of the Center for Sustainable Development in the Americas in Washington, D.C. Figueras, a native of Costa Rica, was her country’s representative to the Kyoto summit.
The conference is cosponsored by various units of UT Austin, including the LBJ School of Public Affairs, College of Natural Sciences, College of Engineering, Institute of Latin American Studies, Center for Environmental Resource Management in Latin America, Clint W. Murchison Sr. Chair in Free Enterprise and the Center for Inter-American Policy Studies.
For more information, contact Professor David Eaton, LBJ School of Public Affairs, (512) 471-8972.