Thursday July 24, 2008

Encouraging Energy Dialogue

A UD colloquium takes up tough questions on energy, climate and the environment over the course of the 2008-09 academic year.

In a six-session energy colloquium that starts this fall, a UD faculty member aims to promote dialogue about the politics and economics of energy and the environment.

At the colloquium's first session, which will be filmed before a live audience from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 24, in the Kennedy Union Boll Theatre, three scientists and a philosopher will consider geographical change, planet-friendly living and ecosystems' response to climate change, said colloquium director Glenn Walters, media executive-in-residence in the UD communications department.


  • Wednesday, Sept. 24: Climate Change
  • Wednesday, Oct. 22: Good to the Last Drop? Depletion
  • Wednesday, Nov. 19: Energy and Environment in the Media
  • Wednesday, Jan. 28: Economics of Energy
  • Wednesday, Feb. 25: Politics of Energy
  • Wednesday, March 18: Renewable Energy Alternatives

Questions can be called in by telephone or sent by e-mail, instant message or SMS text messaging. Questions not read and answered on air will be posted to an online discussion forum, Walters said. The remaining sessions will be filmed from the Flyer TV studio, broadcast live on FlyerTV and simulcast by the Miami Valley Communications Council, Dayton Access Television and public-access stations in Xenia, Springfield and Oxford, Ohio, Walters said. They'll also be replayed on Flyer TV and be available in streaming video.

Walters, who drives a hybrid car and is building an EnergyStar home, said he developed the colloquium out of concern about the rapidly advancing energy and environmental crisis.

"I just think it is a travesty that young men and women are dying in a war related to this topic," he said. "As a media person, I've been personally disturbed that the media have not done a better job at communicating this energy crisis. ... They have not been proactive. Serious investigative reporting is not happening, in my opinion." Media attention on energy will be the subject of the session on Nov. 19.

Walters' hope, he said, is that faculty will engage students in the dialogue through projects, assignments and participation in the colloquy.

The colloquium is a collaboration of the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education, which includes UD, Wright State University, Miami University, Wittenberg University, Cedarville University and Sinclair Community College. Bob Brecha, UD's Brother Leonard A. Mann, S.M., Chair in the Sciences, is the colloquium's academic coordinator. Walters will moderate all of the sessions.

Funding for the colloquium has been provided by the UD College of Arts and Sciences and the department of communication.

— Maureen Schlangen