Climate change will be topic of civil discourse symposium

Three women on stage, one with certificate and shaking hands
Elizabeth Arnold, left, is endowed professor of civil discourse. She is pictured with, from left, Carol Sarosik and Shelley Padnos at the 2017 symposium. This year's event is set for October 25.
Image Credit: Rex Larsen

Climate change will be the topic at Grand Valley's fifth annual Padnos/Sarosik Civil Discourse Symposium.

The event is set for Thursday, October 25, from 6-8 p.m. at the Eberhard Center, 301 W. Fulton St., on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus. It is free and open to the public, RSVP online at gvsu.edu/civildiscourse. Hors d'oeuvres and refreshments will be served.

Elizabeth Arnold, associate professor of anthropology, is the Padnos/Sarosik endowed professor of civil discourse. Arnold said the symposium will feature a panel discussion and invited organizations will give various perspectives on climate change.

"The event intends to demonstrate that we can have civil conversations about climate change and potentially discuss constructive solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptations to impacts of climate change, even if we disagree," Arnold said.

Panelists are Kelly Parker, professor of philosophy and director of environmental studies at GVSU; Jordan Chrispell, West Michigan clean energy organization for the Sierra Club; and Steve Goreham, author and executive director of the Climate Science Coalition of America.

Representatives from various organizations will be available, including the Sierra Club, Acton Institute, Citizen's Climate Lobby and the WMU Cooley Law School Center for Civil Discourse.

Arnold said students in her civil discourse class will serve as moderators. 

The Padnos/Sarosik endowed professorship is housed in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies and was given as a gift to Grand Valley in 2013 from longtime university supporters Shelley Padnos and Carol Sarosik.