Unfortunately for the planet, the topic of global warming is already starting to put people to sleep.

On Thursday, November 8th, famous climatologist and leading expert on global climate change, Micheal Mann spoke to a packed auditorium in Carroll Hall about the causes and effects of global warming. As an ardent environmentalist, I was very excited about the talk. Michael Mann is an originator of the “hockey stick” temperature graph and is one of many scientists who share the Nobel Peace Prize recently awarded to Al Gore.

The presentation was divided into six segments including the scientific consensus, the basic principles and concepts of global warming, the observational evidence to prove that it is occurring, theory versus observations, projections of future climate change and overall impacts.

While Dr. Mann covered each segment thoroughly and concisely, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated as I heard yet again what the “greenhouse effect” is. I was president of the environmental club at my high school. I have taken three classes on environmental action. I own the movie, An Inconvenient Truth. In other words, I know why and how global warming is occurring. Please tell me something new.

I think that most people in attendance already knew or had at least heard the information Dr. Mann covered. Unless you live under a rock or choose denial as a way of life, you must know that global warming is occurring and the main contributing factor is the exponential increase of human generated CO2.

So, did I learn anything new? Yes, Dr. Mann did briefly introduce one phenomenon I have not yet heard about— geo-engineering which is essentially “engineering” our way out of the climate crisis. Instead of enforcing conservation and preservation, some scientists and politicians have suggested creating artificial devices to counteract the causes of global warming. Potential ideas include pumping excess CO2 into the bottom of the ocean, constructing “fake trees”, placing mirrors in space to reflect sunlight and seeding clouds. I agree with Dr. Mann’s remark on the issue, “I am fairly uncomfortable with this.”

Although Dr. Mann’s talk was a good general overview of the reality of global warming, I left the auditorium that evening disappointed. My biggest concern and criticism of the presentation was the absence of new information or different perspective on such a crucial topic. People are already growing immune towards the dire effects of global warming because the information is simply put on repeat sounding like a broken record.

One student summed up my thoughts as we exited the building, “We just watched An Inconvenient Truth minus Al Gore.”

By Mary Lide Parker