Origins Project Great Debate to focus on climate change

January 14, 2013

Climate change is one of the most important, and perhaps thorniest, issues confronting world leaders today. A lot is at stake. Issues in climate variability, loss of living space, extended drought, amplified weather cycles, growing season variability and even national security all link back to climate change. Sea levels are rising and last year was the hottest year on record for the United States. It’s clear that for climate change, the future is now. 

The Origins Project at Arizona State University will hold a panel discussion on climate change, 7 p.m., Feb. 2, that will include some of the world’s leading experts and policy analysts in the field. Download Full Image

Tickets are now on sale for “The Great Debate: Climate Change, Surviving the Future,” which will take place in Gammage Auditorium on ASU’s Tempe campus.

The panel includes scientists and leaders affiliated with NASA, NOAA, the Earth Institute and E3G, and will provide a lively conversation on the future of the nation and the world in our changing climate. The discussion will be moderated by Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Project at ASU and a Foundation Professor in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Department of Physics.

“Humanity is at a critical juncture in regards to global climate change,” Krauss said. “The effects of climate change are happening now, from melting of major ice sheets, to rising sea levels, changing acidity in the oceans and record global temperatures. Every year that we wait to address these problems makes it exponentially more difficult to do so. We have brought in the top names in climate science and international policy to encourage public conversation on this timely issue, and plan to expand the conversation into feasible policy proposals for world leaders.”

Panelists include:

Wallace Broecker, professor at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. Generally considered the grandfather of climate science, he helped develop the idea of a global conveyor belt linking the circulation of the global oceans and made major contributions to the science of the carbon cycle and use of chemical tracers and isotope dating in oceanography.

James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, has made significant contributions to radiative heat transfer models that have been refined and applied to understand Earth’s atmosphere. Hansen provided key climatology testimony to Congressional committees that helped raise the awareness of global warming.

Susan Solomon, former senior chemistry and process research scientist at NOAA, and currently an atmospheric chemist and a faculty member at MIT, was one of the first scientists to propose that chlorofluorocarbons are the cause of the Antarctic ozone hole.

John Ashton, founding director of E3G, a British nonprofit that works in the public interest to accelerate the global transition to sustainable development. Ashton is an international policy expert on global communities and climate change concerns, and has served as the UK Special Representative for Climate Change.

Sander van der Leeuw, dean of ASU’s School of Sustainability. Last year, van der Leeuw was among six winners of the 2012 United Nations Champions of the Earth award for his research in human-environmental relations and the scientific study of innovation as a societal process.

Krauss said the Great Debate will be the keystone event to a weekend workshop that will explore the latest research and thinking on climate change (Jan. 31-Feb. 2). In addition, National Public Radio’s Science Friday will broadcast its Feb. 1 show remotely and include some members of the Origins panel on climate change.

Tickets are available online through and at the ASU Gammage Box Office, by calling 480-965-3434. Discounted student tickets are available with a student ID at the Gammage Box Office.

For more information on the Great Debate, go to, or call 480-965-0053.

Lawrence Krauss, (480) 965-6378

Media contact:

Associate Director, Media Relations & Strategic Communications


ASU joins a global cause to end modern slavery

January 14, 2013

Think slavery has ended? Think again.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) estimates that there are 20.9 million men, women and children enslaved around the world today. These individuals are denied their freedoms and exploited through means of forced labor and prostitution. Kaitlyn Fitzgerald Download Full Image

Students and faculty at Arizona State University urged students to help combat the problem on Jan. 9 at “Campus Challenge: A call to action against human trafficking.”

The event, co-sponsored by ASU’s College of Public Programs, ASU Global and Changemaker Central, was created to raise awareness for, USAID’s Counter Trafficking in Persons Campus Challenge. ASU Global, a part of the Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development, works with local, national and international partners to find solutions to the most complex challenges facing our world today.

“ASU is committed to the idea that universities must participate in solving problems,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean of the College of Public Programs, in his opening statement. “This challenge is a call to action that as a group and as individuals, we can be agents of change.”

The Campus Challenge from USAID is simple: students are encouraged to submit ideas on how technology can be used in positive ways to combat the spread of trafficking and provide assistance to trafficking victims.

The event also presented other ways in which students can become involved, including visiting sites such as Not For Sale and Slavery Footprint, to raise awareness and reduce consumption of goods produced through slave labor.

Groups including the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Unchained Movement and Dignity House were also present and disseminating information at the event.

Students may submit ideas to the Campus Challenge on their own, with a partner or as a member of a team. Winners will be announced in March and will be invited to showcase and discuss their ideas and receive prizes of up to $5,000.

The application deadline has been extended to midnight on Jan. 31. For more information on contest rules and how to enter visit ChallengeSlavery at

To watch a video of the event, go to:

Written by Lorraine Longhi, Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development

Media contact:
Joan M. Sherwood,
Director of Communications | College of Public Programs

Director, Knowledge Enterprise Development