Managing Our Planet Dialog Series

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The "Managing Our Planet" series is a joint activity of George Mason University and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The challenges facing our planet -- from the demands of an exploding population, threats to biodiversity, dwindling resources, and stresses to our climate -- need to be handled "at scale". The problems are global, their consequences affect virtually everyone and every ecosystem. A sustainable future for the planet requires that solutions be found that are either large scale or that can be replicated easily and meaningfully. This series focuses on the diverse threats to the planet and on possible solutions including adaptation to changes we can not stop and mitigation of changes we can.

The series is typically run as a dialog between two or three presentors, with active audience participation. Events are webcast live and available on-line after the session via the Wilson Center.

  • Sustainable Solutions for the Planet’s Energy Challenge

    The environmental challenges of climate change, energy demands, and natural resource loss continue to mount. World population hit seven billion on Halloween and is projected to go to ten billion if not more. The first decade of the 21st century was the warmest in 130 years of recorded global temperatures and 2010 was the warmest year yet recorded. Extinction rates are 1000 times base rates. The Amazon had the greatest drought in recorded history in 2010. Droughts, floods, wildfires, and probably intense tropical storms are becoming more frequent.

  • Government Leadership in Sustainability

    As the Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Martha Johnson is responsible for annual government purchases of over $65 billion and more than 360 million square feet of federal real estate. She will discuss GSA’s initiative to aggressively pursue a zero environmental footprint (ZEF) that will reduce waste, support innovation, and boost efficiency across federal buildings, operations, and acquisition.

  • Enhancing Public Engagement in Climate Change: The 2011 Climate Change Communicators of the Year

    "Excellence in climate communication has to do with public engagement – communication that expands the portion of the public that is engaged in this issue and enhances their degree of engagement," said Edward Maibach, director of the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.

  • Managing the Oceans

    Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator will discuss the fact that it is a critical time for our oceans and coasts. The oceans are changing; our uses of the oceans are changing; … our expectations and demands of the oceans and coastal areas are changing. The decisions we make now will impact the global health of the oceans for generations.