The Environment: Critical Issues of the 21st Century September 25-27, 2006
Former United States Senator and astronaut, John Glenn, delivered the keynote address on Monday night, September 25, 2006 that launched the Riley Institute’s fourth national conference. This particularly timely conference featured a remarkable array of speakers and panelists from around the world and across South Carolina who explored the critical environmental issues framing life at the beginning of the 21st century.
For many experts and even casual observers, it seems that South Carolina, the United States, and our planet have arrived at an environmental crossroads. Global warming, air and water pollution, depletion of fossil fuels, desertification, destruction of rainforest and tree cover, rapidly growing populations, and sprawling urban areas are major concerns. These all affect the quality of human life. At the same time, however, economic progress, especially for poor people in the United States and around the world, depends on global trade, on the creation and expansion of economic enterprises, and on the infrastructures tied to them. How we sustain the environment under these circumstances is a challenge for all of us as we move into the new century. Have we reached a tipping point on global warming and fossil fuel availability such that massive international action is needed immediately? Is South Carolina’s environmental heritage here today and gone tomorrow? How should we frame our public policies focused on the environment over the next decade? These issues are the focus of the Riley Institute’s fourth national conference. For a complete list of speakers and their biographies, and the schedule of events, click here.