Climate Change Course Produces Very Successful Public Panel Discussion
Climate Change (2019)
Faculty: Christine Muller, Arthur Lyon Dahl, Laurent Mesbah
Miriam Dunnan describes how the Littleton, Colorado, Bahá’í community created a public event to publicize the dangers of climate change, and the many benefits that resulted.
“Our conference on climate change was a result of the Climate Change class I took last spring from Wilmette Institute. It was the most informative and well-organized course I have ever taken. At first, the details of what we are doing to our planet through our own excessive use of fossil fuels and the many other ways we are polluting our earth was overwhelming. However, the course then showed how the Bahá’í Faith’s principles can lead us out of this disaster. How heartwarming!
So I suggested to the Bahá’ís of Littleton that we put on a panel on climate change, a service project to educate the community, and also introduce attendees to the ways in which Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings provide real answers.”
“We spent months planning, starting at a time when relatively little was being said about climate change, working up to today’s common acknowledgment of this disaster.”
“Christine Muller agreed to participate via Zoom, and we secured a diverse group of other panelists:
- a Professor Emeritus at CU Denver, founder of Colorado Sierra Club’s Issue Team on Environmental Justice and Social Equity and an active teacher of teachers of meditation;
- a member of the San Felipe Pueblo and Dine’ Nation who is a Water Protector and Indigenous Environmental and Social Justice Activist;
- and a Littleton community activist, fossil fuel minimizer in her life and avid teacher of gardening classes.
Our panel was moderated by our LSA Secretary, a Physics professor and Honors Director at a local community college, who also provided an excellent overview to the science of climate change.
A group of about five members of the community worked actively at site preparations, marketing (flyers, Facebook, local media, etc.) and details for the event. It took more work than we imagined, but the enthusiasm we had for the project was contagious. And it fell on October 19, during Global Climate Change Week, though we didn’t know that when we planned it!
In the course of our planning, we talked to many people about climate change, and to some of those about the Bahá’í Faith. Our outreach efforts brought the name of the Faith through our printed media as well. Most exciting of all, we had nearly 60 attendees to our panel, who were positive about the event and picked up a variety of our Bahá’í and climate change materials.”
“I share this to encourage other communities to consider such a service to their area. Small in comparison to what many on the forum have done, but it opened doors and brought our community much more strongly together.”