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Professor discusses climate warming

Liz O'Donnell | Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Businesses should take a leadership stance in the effort to reduce global warming, professor Patrick Murphy said Tuesday night.

“If the effects of climate change are to be improved, business will play a large role,” Murphy told students, faculty, and members of the South Bend Community during the Berges Lecture Series in Business Ethics Tuesday.

Murphy was the final speaker of the evening during the discussion on Climate Change: Technical, Business and Ethical Implications.

“The Berges Lecture Series has a policy of bringing in speakers who have experience dealing with ethical issues in business,” Murphy said, “We take a ‘role model’ approach in that we invite individuals and companies with very good ethical reputations to participate.”

Mark McCready, professor and Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering was the first to address the audience, giving a brief overview of climate change.

He said levels of carbon dioxide have been increasing substantially due to fossil fuel use. The increased levels in carbon dioxide are to blame for why global warming is occurring, McCready said.

Gerard Pannekoek, the former President and Chief Operating Officer of the Chicago Climate Exchange said businesses can solve any problem with the environment so long as they commoditize it. He recently worked with 50 companies to design a rulebook for businesses on how to battle global warming in the United States.

“[The rulebook] was a beginning, lets get something up and running, lets see if it moves. You can compare it to the Wright brothers. Let’s hope this thing flies,” Pannekoek said.

After about 35 minutesof testimony by the members of the panel, the floor was then opened up to questions of members of the audience, which was mainly comprised of undergraduates in the Mendoza College of Business.

The next discussion in the Berges Lecture Series will be on Sept. 15 in Jordan Auditorium in the Mendoza College of Business. Robert Nyhus, the Senior Program Manager of Herman Miller, Inc. will give a lecture entitled “Values and Decision Making.”