"Living Large" Means a Hotter Planet
Posted 10/02/2009 12:07PM

"We all need to lower our emissions and raise our voices," according to Rouwenna Lamm from The Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), who gave an entertaining animated presentation to students on Thursday evening in Gilchrist Auditorium.  "In 2009, we've inherited a world that's all about living large," Rouwenna said. "Did you know that the average American teenager uses 20 football fields just to live? You can't see that, but what it means is 'living large' cranks up the world's thermostat way too hot."

At the end of the animated portion of the presentation, Rouwenna - a recent graduate of Smith College, where she majored in Physics and Astronomy - reminded students that climate change "is not happening in a cartoon." The overall message was straightforward: "climate change is real, it is dangerous and it was be stopped. You didn't start it, you don't want it, but you have to fix it," she said.

While warning of the dangers of doing nothing, the presentation was also hopeful. Rouwenna implored the students to imagine a positive future, where everyone's "carbon footprint shrinks and their green print grows."

"Don't discount the power you have as individuals and collectively," she said in response to a student's question about whether current efforts to "go green" are having any effect whatsoever.

"Often times students become frustrated when they hear about climate change and feel somewhat small and insignificant about what they can do.  The best aspect of the ACE program is empowering students to do something," says Science teacher Jeff Dyreson, who invited Rouwenna to Loomis and who also works on the school's sustainability committee.   Earlier in the day, she gave classroom lectures that were about the science of climate change.

"I thought that the ACE presentation was amazing," reports Project Green Co-President, Senior Tyler Anne Isaman. "It really spoke to a wider audience and targeted all age groups. The video's animation and Rouwenna Lamm's presentation made a very serious topic fun to learn about. Project Green is currently looking into joining forces with ACE to accomplish some environmentally friendly tasks on campus," she says. 

At the end of the presentation, many students immediately signed online ACE's "Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels."

To find out more about ACE, visit their website at www.acespace.org