ECO St. Lo Guest Speaker Series

ECO St. Lo Guest Speaker Series

Submitted by Émile Carrier

Guest Speaker Series at CEGEP St. Lawrence College

In October and November, two important guest speakers will give conferences at CEGEP St. Lawrence. They are Catherine Gauthier and Harvey Mead.

In an effort to raise awareness within the college community and among the general public, ECO-St. Lo, the award-winning environment group at CEGEP St. Lawrence, has invited Catherine Gauthier to discuss climate refugees on Thursday October 27, 2011, and Harvey Mead to talk about sustainable economics on Thursday November 3. Both talks will take place in room 268 from 12:10 to 1:20 p.m.

The effects of climate change are being increasingly felt on a world-wide scale, with consequences including rising ocean levels and the intensification of natural disasters such as droughts and floods. These and other consequences of global warming adversely affect all natural ecosystems.

Catherine Gauthier will develop this subject by describing the impact of climate change on ourselves and our society. She will also explain who a climate refugee actually is and outline the causes of this new phenomenon.
Catherine Gauthier has been involved in the struggle to combat climate change for a good many years. Since 2005, she has been a member of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations in matters of climate change. In December 2010, in Cancun, she was coordinator of Canada’s youth delegation. She is known as a very dynamic speaker. She is currently studying international relations at the Université de Montréal and she is the project coordinator for the Délégation de la jeunesse du Québec.

The second guest speaker to be welcomed at St. Lawrence is Harvey Mead. Mr. Mead has been working on environment and development issues for forty years at the provincial, national and international levels. A former St. Lawrence teacher and Assistant Deputy Minister for Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Quebec Ministry of the Environment, Harvey Mead has experience in and out of government and has been an environmental campaigner for many years. Mr. Mead recently published a book defining sustainable economics and he is also well informed about China, the world’s new superpower.

“Climate refugees constitute an important issue that the international community needs to address,” says Émile Carrier, ECO-St. Lo spokesperson. “It is time to spread the word about this problem and to ask our leaders to take immediate action. The International Red Cross estimates that there are now more environmental refugees than refugees displaced by war, yet environmental refugees are not recognized or supported.”

Robert McBryde, ECO-St. Lo coordinator, maintains that “Harvey Mead’s talk is sure to be an eye opener. Mr. Mead has been ahead of the curve for so many years. He is very eager to share his insights about pressing environmental issues with young and old alike.”

Students, faculty, staff, and the general public are all invited to attend these talks.

About ECO-St. Lo

ECO-St. Lo is CEGEP St. Lawrence’s environment group. The forty or so members of the group come from all walks of life; they are St. Lawrence students, instructors, managers, professionals, and support staff members. This diversity of membership has engendered a wide variety of projects and activities, from consciousness raising to practical green initiatives. For instance, the group has recently prepared eco-responsible guidelines to make school events greener, and worked to establish a new composting system.
Moreover, the efforts of the group’s members were rewarded during the first ever college-level FORCES AVENIR Awards Gala held at the Théâtre Capitole on September 7, 2011, when ECO-St. Lo was named the most outstanding college environment group for the entire province of Quebec.

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