Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ Comes To Maryville
ST. LOUIS — A Maryville University professor hopes to initiate dialogue on environmental issues and raise awareness about climate change at a free screening and panel discussion of the Academy Award-nominated documentary “An Inconvenient Truth,” to be held 7 – 10 p.m., February 13, in the Maryville University auditorium.
Organizing the event is Nadine Ball, Ph.D., associate professor of education at Maryville, who is a staunch environmentalist, and an advocate of sustainability on the University’s campus. The event is co-sponsored by the Academy of Science-St. Louis, a local organization dedicated to improving scientific literacy in the St. Louis region.
The panelists will include John Lewington, Ph.D., assistant dean of the John E. Simon School of Business and professor of marketing and management, Maryville University; Bill Odell, HOK senior vice president and design principal; Norm Woldow, Ph.D., professor of biology, Maryville University; Bobbi Carothers, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Maryville University; and William P. Dannevik, Ph.D., professor of meteorology and earth and atmospheric sciences department chair, Saint Louis University.
“An Inconvenient Truth” is former vice president Al Gore’s effort to address the topic of global warming, exposing its myths while warning of its danger. “What I love about the movie is that it makes the issue accessible to people who may not think or study about climate change regularly,” Ball said.
“I agree with Gore that this really is a crisis. Never as a species did we have to confront a crisis on this scale,” she remarked. “Because it’s very frightening and upsetting, it’s easy to fall into a sense of despair. At the same time, what’s beautiful about the movie is that it ends on a note of opportunity.”
“Humans have created and coped with their own crises for hundreds of years since the Industrial Revolution, so there is hope. I’d like to energize people to talk about the issue,” said Ball. She is pleased the panel discussion will include individuals from different spheres in business and academia, making for a multi-faceted discussion of the issue.
Ball also sees a connection between the documentary and the campus sustainability effort that Maryville has recently undertaken, saying the film demonstrates the need to work across divides to achieve a common goal.
She believes a new recycling program is just the beginning, and that need remains for greater inter-departmental cooperation. “I’d like the sustainability discussion institutionalized within five, maybe 10 years. [Acting university President Dr.] Brian Nedwek has made huge progress in this regard, in terms of financing,” said Ball.
“I think it is a sin in the truest sense of the word to destroy the beauty of the earth,” said Ball. She commented that in all likelihood, the earth will eventually survive mankind’s detrimental effect on it, but that humans are going to be hard pressed to ensure their survival: “The earth will be okay; it is our quality of life down the road that’s important. We need to think about the long-term rather than the satisfaction of our immediate needs.”
For more information on the February 13 event, contact Maryville University’s School of Education at 314.529.9486 or visit https://www.maryville.edu/ait/.
Maryville University, founded in 1872, is a private, coeducational institution offering approximately 50 undergraduate, seven master’s and two doctoral degree programs to 3,300 students. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Midwest, Maryville University prepares its students for successful and meaningful careers by offering programs that integrate liberal arts with professional studies. Among Maryville’s most recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. Approximately 15,000 alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.