Now is the time to take action to mitigate global climate change.

That was the central message offered by Unity College President Stephen Mulkey on Saturday, September 24, at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity.

President Mulkey offered his comments about the pressing need to address global climate change as a panelist in a public policy teach-in on the subject. He was joined by Dylan Voorhees of the Natural Resources Council of Maine and longtime MPBN meteorologist Lou McNally.

At right, President Mulkey in August at the work site of TerraHaus, the most energy efficient residence hall ever to be constructed on a college or university campus in the United States. A ribbon cutting for TerraHaus was held on September 24. It now houses 10 Unity College students.

An article entitled Common Ground Panel: It’s Time to Act on Global Climate Change in the Sunday, September 25 Issue of the Morning Sentinel newspaper detailed the discussion.

Science is the key to understanding global climate change and it is too often lost in the translation, President Mulkey stated. He urged every college President to discuss global climate change as a moral imperative.

After less than three very busy months on the job as Unity’s President, Mulkey has charted a course for the future of the College. He has offered a vision that includes continuing to serve as a model sustainable community while delving into the emerging field of sustainability science.

During a recent Unity College event President Mulkey stressed the role that the College will play in training students to hold the emerging green jobs of the 21st century, many of which will have a direct connection to global climate change mitigation:

“One of the visions I have for Unity College is I would like to take this window of opportunity, when other institutions find it so difficult to move, so difficult to change, and take this smaller, more nimble institution, and move it to a position where it is known nationally as one of the best places in the country to learn sustainability science and to do sustainability studies, and climate change is going to be the heart and soul of that.”

President Mulkey’s message was underscored by a event at the fair. The Saturday afternoon event, organized by Unity College Professor John Zavodny, sought to raise awareness about how much carbon dioxide is in the air. The theme was fighting climate change.

Over 500 people gathered to form the number 350, documented in an aerial photo and video by Zavodny. The event was covered in an article published in the Monday, September 26 issue of the Bangor Daily News.

Zavodny also produced a video featuring President Mulkey discussing global climate change and the initiative.

Climate Change Presentations by President Mulkey on September 28 and October 5

On September 28, President Mulkey will be a guest lecturer at the Unity College Centre for the Performing Arts (UCCPA), 42 Depot Street, Unity, Maine, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., as part of an Environmental Sustainability class taught by Adjunct Instructor Anna Fiedler and Professor Mick Womersley. The topic for Mulkey’s guest lecture will be Misunderstanding Climate Change: Science & Public Perception.

President Mulkey will again be a guest lecturer for the Environmental Sustainability class at the UCCPA on October 5 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The topic will be Economics & Ethics of Climate Change.

The lectures are free and open to the general public. Light refreshments will be available prior to each lecture.

Unity College is a small private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education which emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.

In 2010, Unity College was named to the top 30 of the Washington Monthly college rankings, and was one of eighteen U.S. colleges and universities named to The Princeton Review’s Green Rating Honor Roll.

Monday, September 19, 2011