Today, in honor of Earth Day, the Foundation for Global Sustainability will

co-sponsor with the University of Tennessee School of Planning the "Renew

America National Town Meeting: Global Warming/Local Solution."

At least 200 U.S. communities will be linked by satellite for this meeting,

which is produced by Renew America, a national environmental organization

based in Washington D.C.

While the concept of global warming may appear abstract in the distant,

our actions and those of our communities are crucial to stem changes already

begun. The complexity of the issue often makes climate change appear to

be beyond local control. But, in fact, communities and individuals are key

players in the effort to reduce greenhouse gases.

The National Town meeting will feature a panel of experts including:

Braden Allenby, AT&T environment, health and safety vice president; Amory

Lovins, director of research, Rocky Mountain Institute; and William McDonough,

dean, University of Virginia School of Architecture and founder, Institute

for Sustainable Design. Former CBS and CNN broadcast journalist Deborah

Potter will moderate the discussion. Panelists will lead a national conversation

about how local communities can use the tools of design, planning and technology

to both improve our economy and reduce global warming.

"We are proud to be the local host of this nation-wide event,"

said Danny de Vries, AmeriCorps*VISTA member at FGS. After the video conference,

FGS will hold a forum concerning initiatives to reduce climate change in

Knoxville and surrounding communities.

"We thought this would be an excellent opportunity to discuss local

initiatives in the Greater Knoxville Metropolitan area which could help

to reduce greenhouse gases. If a Metropolis continues to sprawl it can eventually

lose the ability to provide basic necessities, such as clean water, transportation,

health services, waste disposal, as well as clean air for its population,"

he said.

According to de Vries, "Earth Day is the perfect time to bring the

whole community together to discuss climate change and global warming in

a constructive way. In the past we've often seen conflict between business

interests and civic groups advocating environmental sustainability. This

National Town Meeting may help us learn to work together and to understand

that the goals of environmental sustainability and economic prosperity are

intimately tied."

The Satellite downlink will take place this afternoon at Hodges Library,

room 213, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and the local forum from 2:30 p.m. to

3:30 p.m.

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