West Fork Complex Fire         

Coilorado Climate Change

Click here for a Climate Change Resource Page
Scroll down for video from the symposium.


and The DU Law Democrats
Colorado Climate Change Wildfire, Drought, and Environmental Health

West Fork Complex Fire, (c) Greg Glazner
Room 165, Moot Courtroom Ricketson Law Building
DU Sturm College of Law 2255 E. Evans Ave. Denver, Colorado
Wednesday, August 28th 6-8 p.m.

For a campus parking map, please click here

Denver, CO – Colorado has been on the front lines of climate change effects, highlighted by heightened drought conditions in the American West and the resulting record damages to forests and homes from increasingly widespread wildfires.  In a region largely composed of desert and semi-arid ecosystems, the effects of an escalating population that is rapidly outgrowing its diminishing water resources point to an unnatural imbalance poised to wreak large-scale havoc on top of the extreme weather and climate conditions already felt by our residents.

“This is not just a job for politicians,” President Obama said in his landmark speech on June 25th laying out a Climate Change Action Plan.  “Educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends.  Tell them what’s at stake.  Speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings….Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution….Remind folks there's no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.  And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote.”

Kasey Baker, Owen Perkins, and Will Townsend: Introduction, Overview, and The Black Forest Fire

Raised in rural Colorado, Will Townsend comes from a politically active family who encouraged participation in democracy to bring about change. He began his Field Organizing work with President Obama's 2012 campaign in his home state of Colorado and has continued to be active in OFA since.  After the destructive Black Forest Fire, he took a role at the center of the recovery efforts, and using his organizing experience he was able to found Black Forest Strong. After being part of a community suffering the impact of global warming he is particularly passionate about the environment in terms of forestry/climate change and how we can generate a conversation with a focus on the impacts of climate change.

Dr. Yadira Caraveo: The Health Effects of Climate Change (below)

Dr. Yadira Caraveo has been an advocate since medical school.  During her residency, she was an active member of her resident union and advocated for improved working conditions for her colleagues and health care access for her patients while supporting environmentally friendly candidates for public office.  Receiving her training in pediatrics in New Mexico, a state with a number of coal-fired power plants, she saw firsthand the health effects of air pollution on her patients, particularly those with asthma and chronic lung diseases.  Through a leadership program with the National Hispanic Medical Association she became involved with the work of the Union of Concerned Scientists and Voces Verdes.   She provided insight into the medical perspective on climate change’s public health impacts and participated in a meeting with members of President Obama’s staff concerning emission standards for coal-fired power plants.  Dr. Caraveo currently works as a general pediatrician in Thornton, where she was born and raised.

David Helenberger: National Wildlife Federation (Lightning Round, below)

Anneli Berube: Envrionment Colorado (Lightning Round, below)

Senator Jeanne Nicholson: Mitigation and Adaptation in Colorado (below)

Senator Jeanne Nicholson is in her first term representing parts of Jefferson, Gilpin, Boulder, and Denver Counties. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of Colorado in Community Health Nursing and is a two-time Florence Nightingale finalist as a former public health nurse.  In 2008 Jeanne helped draft and pass the Colorado Public Health Improvement Act, and she received the Children’s Champion Award in 2009 for her work in promoting the importance of early childhood development.  Among her accomplishments as a Gilpin County Commissioner, Nicholson provided the political leadership to build a “green” Road and Bridge building, heated with wood chips, saving money on utilities, reducing the county’s carbon footprint, and providing jobs for local loggers in a program that has become a model for other public facilities around the state.  She was named Colorado Commissioner of the year in 2005. Nicholson also spearheaded efforts to provide a childcare center and after school program. She supported an expanded recycling program to include recycling of hazardous waste materials.

Laura Farris: Answering President Obama's Call to Action (below)
Includes Audience and Q&A for All the Panelists

Laura Farris has been with the Environmental Protection Agency off and on since the late 80’s. Since 2007, she has been the Climate Change Coordinator for EPA Region 8, where she coordinates a suite of greenhouse gas reduction activities throughout the six Region 8 States. In June of this year, Laura completed the development of a climate adaptation plan for the region, and is working to implement priority activities to build adaptive capacity and resiliency. Prior to that, she was a Trustee and the Mayor of Nederland, CO for four years, where she spearheaded the “green” renovation of the Nederland Community Center and other environmental initiatives. She has also worked for an environmental non-profit funding and overseeing on-the-ground projects in a variety of media. Laura is a mechanical engineer by training, and a connoisseur of alpine environments, having climbed and/or trekked in mountain ranges around the world, including the Cascades, Rocky Mountains, Alaska Range, Andes, Himalayas, and the Alps.

The DU Law Democrats
is one of the oldest and largest student organizations at DU Law. They are an inclusive organization dedicated to advancing Democratic principles. They encourage broad-based involvement from students and faculty alike, in an attempt to spread the Democratic Party’s message to community voters. Among their activities, they bring prominent Democratic speakers to campus, help organize precinct caucuses, distribute information about Democratic organizations, and serve as a focal point for Democratic activism at the Law School.

Organizing for Action (OFA)
is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing the policies that the American people voted for in 2012.  More than 1.4 million volunteers have taken action through Organizing for Action.  As a grassroots funded social advocacy group OFA is committed to tipping the scales of power back to the American people instead of special interests in Washington.  OFA is working to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, gun violence prevention, comprehensive immigration reform, and measures combating climate change that a majority of the American people support. More information and opportunities to get involved are available at www.barackobama.com.


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