CEO of National Wildlife Federation Speaks at St. Edward’s University

On October 4, 2012, Larry J. Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation spoke to the Environmental Politics and Policy class at St. Edward’s University. Mr. Schweiger gave an engaging presentation using interactive graphics, charts and statistics that focused on the severity of global warming. Discussing the dramatic effects that will occur due to climate change, Mr. Schweiger offered a critical perspective on these issues. Although his facts and figures were alarming (the abrupt and irreversible change happening to the Arctic; the state of Greenland; the possibility that 20-30% of all plant and animal species could go extinct with just a 2% temperature increase), he also provided a positive outlook for the future of sustainability and conservation.

Toward the end of his presentation, Mr. Schweiger praised the reinvention of automobiles, highlighting their increased efficiency standards, and discussed efforts to end deforestation and logging. The ultimate sense of reassurance, however, lay with the statistic that only 14% of Americans do not “believe” in global warming. In the midst of an election in which global warming is either treated as a science fiction invented by environmentalists or swept under the rug with rhetoric like “clean coal,” the class was happy to hear that most Americans are on board with science fact. Mr. Schweiger also provided links to environmental resources and showed his support for the University’s Power Vote group, a grassroots organization that aims to raise awareness about the importance of green jobs and green energy.

Authored by Amani Husain ’13, English Writing and Rhetoric