USC hosts annual Climate Forward Conference

Climate Forward Conference

Prominent speakers discussed the importance of seeking common ground on Tuesday’s panel.

The annual Climate Forward Conference brought together high-profile politicians and individuals to find common ground surrounding the climate crisis at a panel held Tuesday, April 4.

The event saw high-profile guests such as Gina McCarthy, the first ever White House climate advisor and former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, and Bret Stephens, a conservative opinion columnist for the New York Times and editor-in-chief of Sapir. Michigan State, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt University also held watch parties for the event.

The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future and Common Ground Committee sponsored the event and hosted two panels discussing the theme of “Bridging Divides, Sharing Solutions.”

Stephens had previously denied climate change but last October, he released a column in the New York Times agreeing to the problem of the climate crisis as he spoke with an oceanographer and witnessed the melting of the ice caps in Greenland.

Stephens said that John Englander, the oceanographer who offered him the trip, spoke to him in a way he hoped more people would.

“He did not approach me as either an imbecile or as a bad guy. He approached me as a guy who wanted to have a conversation with me,” Stephens said. “I think that’s really important when we have conversations across differences.”

The panelists reiterated the importance of finding common ground, as well as how to better communicate effectively about the climate crisis.

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