Climate change scholar coming to WVU College of Law

MORGANTOWN – Conservation Biologist Thomas Lovejoy will speak at the West Virginia University College of Law on Jan. 31 about climate change.

Lovejoy’s lecture, titled “Climate Change: A wild Solution,” will be free to the public and held at the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at 11 a.m.

Lovejoy will explore past and present impacts of climate change on nature and biodiversity.

“It is no exaggeration to say that Tom Lovejoy has devoted himself most dedicatedly, and single-mindedly to the welfare of this earth,” said Michael Blumenthal, visiting assistant professor of law.

“For almost a quarter century, he has worked on the interaction between climate change and biodiversity and been a major force in saving the Amazon from total deforestation.

“Having him here at WVU to discuss these issues provides us with a rare opportunity to have a major thinker and activist provide examples of ways in which we can assure that there will indeed be a planet for our descendants to inhabit and to celebrate.”

A recipient of the 2012 Blue Planet Prize for lifetime achievement in conservation, Lovejoy developed the “debt-for-nature” swap program that trades foreign debt for environmental protection projects. It is one of the largest sources of financing for international conservation, resulting in more than $1 billion in funding since 1987.

Lovejoy has been an advisor to the World Bank, the United Nations, the World Wildlife Fund, the Smithsonian and presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He is currently the biodiversity chair at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment in Washington, D.C.

He is also an environmental science and policy professor at George Mason University. Lovejoy founded the long-running TV series Nature on PBS, and was the first to use the term “biological diversity” in 1980.

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