Climate change expert encourages students to join the conversation

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An international climate change expert says students need to take the Earth’s changing climate seriously at a lecture Tuesday evening in Dallas Hall.

Frode Nilssen, environmentalist and professor at Nord University in Norway, says students aren’t as aware of climate change as they should be. Nilssen encouraged students to have a serious attitude about helping the environment and to generate conversation about it.

“The important thing is attitude. This is the only way we can change and help the Earth,” Nilssen said.

Nilssen also stressed the importance of talking about climate change in general.

“We need to talk more and generate conversation,” Nilssen said. “Talking is more important than you think.”

SMU Director of International and Area Studies Stephen Wegren supported Nilssen’s advice. Wegren encouraged students from his political science class to attend the talk to gain some insight from the environmentalist.

“I think it is important for my students to have a broader perspective on climate change and sustainability,” Wegren said. “They should be exposed to these types of talks more.”

Students like Natalie Buffett, a junior at SMU, agree that people should be more conscious about the environment.

“We all need to talk about the impacts of climate change more,” Buffett said. “We should not shove it under the rug, we should raise awareness about it.”

Despite attendance being sparse for Nilssen’s talk, people who attended were passionate about raising climate change awareness. Sue Harala, a Dallas resident, voiced her opinion in a blunt manner.

“We need to take a stronger stance,” Harala said. “After all, the Earth isn’t going to heal itself.”

Nilssen remained positive about the future and said it is never too late for change.

“Don’t forget, we have the ability to change our attitude,” Nilssen said. “It is not too late.”

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