ANN ARBOR (WWJ) – James Hansen, the scientist whose testimony before Congress in 1988 first raised the threat of global warming to national and international attention, will be the keynote speaker at the Ecology Center’s fall dinner on Thursday, Oct. 3 at the Michigan League in Ann Arbor.
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Known primarily for his scientific work, Hansen was the head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies from 1981 to 2013. In recent years, Hansen has become widely known for advocacy and activism to mitigate the effects of climate change. He has been arrested several times in public protests calling for government action.
Currently an adjunct professor and director of the Hansen Climate Science Program at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, Hansen is a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous awards including the Sophie and Blue Planet Prizes.
The Ecology Center’s fall speaker series has, over the years, drawn some of the major figures in environment activism, scholarship and policy to speak in Ann Arbor, including Robert Kennedy Jr., Van Jones and UCLA professor and author Richard Jackson.
“We see this as one of the key roles we play in the community, to bring together those of us who are working on these issues at the local, regional and state levels, with some of the leaders in the same fields across the country,” according to Michael Garfield, director of the Ecology Center. “Few figures in the subject of global warming command the respect due James Hansen, both for his solid scholarship on the Earth’s climate as well as for his willingness to put himself on the line to fight for a better future.”