Faculty hopes to open eyes with film

While many students expect to graduate with only a degree, certain faculty members are hoping they will graduate with much more to offer society.

The presentation of “An Inconvenient Truth,” a film directed by Davis Guggenheim, sparked concerns from both students and faculty members last night. The film, which featured Al Gore’s concern about global warming, was followed by a panel discussion.

“Global warming is happening, that is no longer disputed,” said Phil Terrie, director of environmental studies and a panelist.

The problem is here and something should be done about it, said Travis Owens, a junior who attended the event.

“The rate has increased so quickly the past two decades compared to past centuries,” he said.

Although many faculty members have been helping to keep BGSU green, Terrie said the University is still behind the curve.

“Frankly, I think we could be doing a lot better,” he said.

According to Bob Vincent, professor of geology and a panelist, the University has been productive in some aspects, such as mass transportation.

“The other thing the University has been good at is recycling,” he said.

A major concern, the panelists agreed, is a lot of the information available to the public has no scientific basis.

There is a lot of information on the Internet that looks like profound papers, Vincent said.

“A lot of the people that are causing the problems, now, aren’t scientists,” he said. “If it’s off the cuff and not based on public peer-reviewed papers, you should brush it off.”

Art Samel, chair of the geography department and a panelist, said the film is an effective source of information for the real facts.

“I think he really crystallizes the issue so that it is not too technical,” he said. “It’s data. It’s not a person, it’s data and that’s where the truth lies.”

According to the Vincent, students are the ones with the education to influence the world.

“I think we can get involved, but we can only do so much,” said Allison Macko, freshman. “But it seems almost


Students must learn to sift through all the information out there, Samel said.

“That’s why as students, it’s so important to us professors, that when you get out of here, you can discern,” he said. “You are the ones who are going to have to do it.”

Sheila Roberts, chair of the geology department and a panelist, said everything we do adds up over time.

“One thing we can all do is walk to places more,” she said.

Vincent suggests finding somewhere to live that is close to a job.

“Your carbon footprint will be a lot smaller than those who have to commute a long way,” he said.

According to Samel, in order to move forward we must go backwards. If we really get going, though, we may be able to develop the technology to take the carbon out, he said.

“[Students] are our hope,” Vincent said.