Thursday was the Dean’s Leadership Councils event on climate change. The event focused on the impact of climate change in student’s everyday lives and what they could do to help in the fight against climate change. Students from multiple different majors came to the event in the hopes to find an effective solution to the global climate change.
A lot of what I am about to show you is hard to hear information, said Dr. Concilio a professor of environmental science and speaker of the event. The information that began her talk was a little hard to hear if you are someone who show general care for the environment. Giving examples of how climate change has affected minor parts of the environment though they have major impacts on the planet. One example she gave was the Ocelot population that lives on the US Mexico border. The Ocelot moves freely between the U.S. and Mexico. If Trump and Republicans are successful in putting up the border wall the Ocelot would effectively be split up from its migration pattern and the endangered specie is already suffering from a decline in population growth.
For an example more close to home here in Austin, Dr. Concilio chose to use the example of the invasive species of grass that can be found in Blunn Creek just behind St. Edward’s. These grasses are considered potential fire starters, said Dr. Concilio, and that it has lead to an increase in crown fires across the state. Crown fires are when the tops of the trees burn which causes the trees to die. This event has been commonly been seen in East Texas but with rising temperatures across the globe who know how long it will be until it starts here in Austin.
Though there is hope, according to Dr. Concilio claiming that, Austin is the perfect city to help in the fight against climate change. We have a mayor that is very outspoken in fighting against climate change. There are many organizations in Austin that students can join and become a part of. Including calling you representatives and urging them to start fighting for policies that are pro climate change. When asked about what specifically Austin can do to help with climate change, Dr. Concilio said developing the city more. She knows it’s a controversial stance but the only way that we can help bring down the total emissions emitted from the city from cars is to develop out public transit systems. We can’t do that as a city until we develop more and become larger.
The event was great overall and even though there was a small crowd it made the event better. Students were allowed to ask questions during the talk instead of in a question and answer session which allowed it to drive the talk and feel more like a conversation. I want students to feel empowered and hopeful for something they could do, said Dr. Concilio about what she wanted students to get out of her talk. I tried to make my talk more like my class. Mostly graphs and pictures to not to make it boring. I try to show connections to how environmental change is affecting them now.