Date: November 13, 2007
Contact: Lindsay Gladstone
Governors State University
Phone: (708) 534-7090
Fax: (708) 534-8399
For Immediate Release
Univerty Park, IL, November 13, 2007 - As part of the class she teaches on public policy at Governors State University, State Senator Debbie Halvorson recently invited Tom S. Mullikin, lawyer, environmental activist, and author, to address an audience of students, faculty, staff, and community members.
“Climate change and the environment are the biggest issues we face in the next few years,” said Halvorson. “We have to understand the causes and scope of the problem so we can develop effective solutions. Discussions like this can help us gain that understanding as we seek solutions.”
Mullikin led a team of researchers and environmental experts on expeditions to Antarctica and Namibia to explore the impact of global climate change on both the Polar Regions and the Sub-Saharan environment. He is the author of Global Solutions: Demanding Total Accountability for Climate Change.
"This is not a Republican or Democratic problem," said Mullikin. "We need to talk about the real problems and focus on the causes of climate change."
Mullikin said one of the big issues facing the country now is the outsourcing of industries to countries that don’t have the strict environmental standards the United States does.
"It is very important to understand that money is behind everything. Money encourages businesses in some countries to move production to other countries where pollution restrictions are less constricting. Even more pollutants are released to adversely affect the environment in these parts of the world," Said Mullikin. “These same countries are manipulating their currencies to give their industry an unfair advantage. Pollution knows no political borders."
To address these issues, "we have to look at the sources and the sectors; where are the emissions coming from and what they are," said Mullikin, "Then we need to find the technology and the resolve to bring about a real reduction. There are many innovative solutions; the just have to be developed and implemented."
As an example, Mullikin pointed out that the ability to capture the pollutant methane gas from manure and turn it into an energy source already exists. The problem, however, is that agribusiness currently has no monetary incentive to do so.
“This is a very important discussion to begin at the university,” said Dr. Elaine Maimon, President of GSU. “Solutions will be found through education and research. We are very pleased to continue our commitment to the community, both locally and globally, by offering these educational and investigative opportunities.”