From staff reports
Ohio University's Earth Week 2008 events will focus on the topic of environmental justice. They are part of a national lineup of activities highlighting critical issues facing the planet and efforts to address them.
The local observance's keynote speakers are Erik Reece, author of "Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness," and Jeff Goodell, author of "Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future."
Reece was born in Louisville, Ky., and teaches writing at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. "Lost Mountain," his debut book, examines the effects of mountaintop removal coal mining in Eastern Kentucky. His essay "Death of a Mountain" appeared in the April 2005 edition of Harper's and earned the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism from the Columbia University School of Journalism. Reece will speak at 8 p.m. Monday, April 14, in Walter Hall 145.
Goodell, in addition to authoring several books, is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. His articles appear regularly in Wired, The New Republic and The New York Times Magazine, where his most recent feature focused on the emerging field of carbon emissions trading. In "Big Coal," Goodell debunks assumptions underlying coal's revival and cheap coal energy. Goodell will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 16, in the Scripps Hall Auditorium.
"Environmental injustice" refers to a disproportionate amount of environmental dangers that burden disadvantaged and minority communities. Researchers note that waste-handling operations such as dumps and sewage plants, industrial facilities that emit toxins and comparable operations are more prevalent in such communities, meaning those who are most affected are least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. This pattern is called "environmental racism."
Additional events taking place throughout the week include:
- A free lunch and guided tours at Ohio University's Ecohouse on Dairy Lane.
- A community panel discussion titled "Legal and Policy Dimensions of Environmental Justice." Panelists are Teresa Mills of the Buckeye Environmental Network, Marti Sinclair of the Environmental Community Organization, Leo Kennedy of Ohio Citizen Action and environmental lawyer Richard Sahli.
- A live Web cast of "Chill Out!" featuring positive, practical solutions to global warming being implemented by higher education campuses around the country.
- A roundtable discussion on environmental justice with opening remarks by students in the Environmental Studies program.
For a complete listing of the week's events and additional updates on the Earth Week 2008 program, visit www.ohio.edu/sustainability and click on "Earth Week."
The university's Office of Sustainability is coordinating Earth Week events. Co-sponsors include the master's program in environmental studies, the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, the Department of Geography, the Department of Political Science, Honors Tutorial College, University College, the Student Activities Commission, Sierra Student Coalition, the Sustainable Living Organization and the Green Network.
For additional information, contact Sustainability Coordinator Sonia Marcus at 740-593-0026 or firstname.lastname@example.org.