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State of the Planet, Intergenerational Justice and Our Collective Future: Home

A University Forum, Spring 2013

State of the Planet: A University Forum

Earth At Night          State of the Planet,

 Intergenerational Justice, and Our Collective Future

University of Maine at Farmington

Spring 2013

Glaciers and sea ice, by reflecting sunlight, function as Earth's natural air conditioner in opposition to the warming caused by greenhouse gases.In 2012, Arctic sea ice shrank to a record low,the entire surface of the Greenland ice sheet experienced melting for the first time in 30 years of satellite measurement, while humanity is now emitting 48% more carbon dioxide than it did 20 years ago during the first Rio summit.

About The Forum


  • Dr. Charles Langmuir, Harvard University, member of the National Academy of Science, and lead author of the 2012 book "How to Build a Habitable Planet: The Story of Earth from the Big Bang to Humankind."   He will focus on "Humanity at the Helm: Civilization in a Planetary Context."
  • Internationally-renowned investigative journalist and author Colin Woodard,
  • Dr. George Jacobsen of UM's Climate Change Institute and Maine State Climatologist,
  • A number of our own faculty including Drs. Daly, Kellett, Stancioff, Hardy, Harper, and Beck.

The objectives of the forum are:

  • Illuminate our current predicament -- seven billion people competing for limited resources within a stressed environment.
  • Encourage interdisciplinary communication across the spectrum of UMF expertise.
  • Advance sustainability and informed activism at UMF and beyond.
  • Move forward constructively and positively, both in the classroom and elsewhere, in response to the information presented.


This University Forum is sponsored by the Sustainable Campus Coalition, Interdisciplinary and General Education Committee, Divisions of Natural Sciences and Social Sciences, and the Provost.  Organizing committee members: Doug Reusch, Linda Beck, Wendy Harper, Paul Stancioff, Luke Kellett, Drew Barton, Andrea Nurse, Peter Hardy, and Julia Daly. 

For more information, contact Doug Reusch, Natural Sciences, 778-7463;