National Journalist to Speak on Climate Crisis at SMCM Oct. 21

ST. MARY’S CITY, Md. (Oct. 13, 2009) — "It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing," claims journalist Elizabeth Kolbert in her award-winning book, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. The book, based on a series of pieces she wrote for The New Yorker, addresses the dangers of ignoring global warming and accelerating climate change.

Kolbert will discuss her book and personal experiences at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (SMCM) as the speaker for the 2009 Andrew J. Goodpaster Lecture in Leadership and Honor at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21 in the Athletics and Recreation Center. The talk is free and open to the public.

Field Notes from a Catastrophe was mandatory reading for all new students at SMCM this fall. Kolbert’s lecture will address global warming’s effects on the world and humanity’s ethical obligation to, as she claims, “hand off a planet that’s habitable.” Kolbert takes a unique approach to climate journalism, drawing on her expeditions with climate scientists around the world. She says that too many people brush off the dangers of climate change because the crisis is not immediate enough. In an interview with Grist, an environmental news site, Kolbert said, “The end of the world has been going to come several times, and we're all still here. So it's: ‘Wake me up when the real end of the world is coming.’” According to Kolbert, that time has come.

Kolbert is an award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker, and previously wrote for The New York Times. Field Notes from a Catastrophe is her second book; she has also edited an anthology on climate change. Kolbert has written for Vogue, The New York Times Magazine, and Mother Jones, and several of her essays have been included in anthologies on climate change.

The annual Goodpaster Lecture series in Leadership and Honor was established upon Andrew Goodpaster’s retirement from the college’s Board of Trustees, and is now in its 11th year. He was a general in the U.S. Army, served in World War II, and was one of President Eisenhower’s most trusted advisers.

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