University of Calgary

Cut the Carbs teach-in

Oct. 28, 2008

Cut the Carbs Teach-in aims to spark conversation and engagement

Mishka Lysack believes the Cut the Carbs Teach-in on climate change offers an inclusive and empowering way to learn about climat

Mishka Lysack believes the Cut the Carbs Teach-in on climate change offers an inclusive and empowering way to learn about climate change and take action.

Almost everyone on campus knows something about climate change, but how can that knowledge turn into action?


According to Gwendolyn Blue, a professor with the Faculty of Communication and Culture, one of the functions of a teach-in is empowering people to act.

Blue and social work professor Mishka Lysack are moderating The Cut the Carbs Teach-in: Changing Climate, Changing Lifestyles.

“We receive a lot of information one-way through formal channels like lectures and brochures,” says Blue, “A teach-in offers something else—a chance for action, inspiration and mobilization. There’s more opportunity for all in attendance to interact and internalize what’s been offered because so many perspective are heard.”

Blue feels that this type of engagement is essential for action on climate change to gain a cultural footing where the environment is viewed as part of our lives and not an external problem.
Lysack thinks engagement is already demonstrable in Changing Climate, Changing Lifestyles because of the breadth of presenters and topics covered

The teach-in he points out is not expert driven. Its premise is that everyone has the chance to be public educator. This initial empowering step is aimed at deepening participation in climate action and citizen.

The benefit of this democratic approach explains Lysack is the expansion of public space around climate issues from the narrow bandwidth that is often dominated by industry, science and policy makers.

“Indeed, we have far more than professors,” says Lysack, “The presenters also include staff from Campus Infrastructure, students from medicine and environmental design, and a sitting MLA.”
Lysack believes the range of topics addressed will also help broaden the climate change conversation. Some presenters will talk to our built environment on campus while others address global scale issues. Different presenters will address the social aspects of climate issues.
 “With this range of presenters everyone who attends should find an avenue into the discussion, which is what we want,” says Lysack. “After all, to make a difference on climate change we all need to take action.”

Cut the Carbs Teach-in entitled Changing Climate, Changing Lifestyles.
Wednesday Oct.  29 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Dining Centre, Blue Room

For a complete list of presenters visit: www.ucalgary.ca/sustainability