On Friday, January 18 Mid-Coast Currents, a community radio news, events and perspectives show on WERU (89.9 FM Blue Hill, 99.9 FM Bangor and streaming online at weru.org) will explore the recent push in American higher education to divest from investments in fossil fuels.  The show, hosted by Unity College Professor John Zavodny and Sara Trunzo, Unity College Food and Farm Projects Coordinator, is scheduled from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. It will also be archived for access anytime.

The in-studio guest will be Unity College President Stephen Mulkey.  He will discuss the recent announcement that Unity College is the first institution of higher education in the United States to divest from investment in fossil fuels.

Bill McKibben, a nationally known author, celebrity environmental activist, and founder of 350.org, an environmental organization that is encouraging colleges and universities divest from investments in fossil fuels, will join by phone. Also joining in will be Dan Apfel, Executive Director of the Responsible Endowments Coalition.

“It’s exciting to have the discussion about divestment on WERU because our audience is ready to hear more and get their questions answered by the pros,” said Trunzo.  “Maine is home to many small colleges that might be able to join this movement.”

Zavodny noted that climate change is a problem that cannot be ignored. “It’s incredibly important to face hard realities like climate change and the impacts it is having,” said Zavodny.  “But it’s also important to appreciate this moment on earth that we have together.  To me that means that we face our challenges, like climate change – maybe especially climate change – in a hopeful, constructive way.”

He hopes that this edition of Mid-Coast Currents continues the conversation that Unity College’s action initiated.

“We take on tough issues but always do it in a spirit of optimism and community,” Zavodny said.  “Nobody is better than Bill McKibben at combining the hard work of climate change with the celebration of community.  That’s why I’m so excited to have Bill, Stephen and Dan on the program.  Each take on tough issues with carefully constructed coalitions.”

WERU is a listener-supported and volunteer-powered non-commercial radio service that celebrates cultural and musical diversity and meets informational needs of communities served by its broadcast signal, particularly audiences whose needs are not fully served by other broadcast media (for more information: weru.org or 207-469-6600).

Unity College is a small private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that 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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013