POV – Point of View
Esteemed expertise often home-grown
Every community has its shining stars. Each city is blessed with plenty of them. Some rise to become premiers or prime ministers, or to the pinnacle of corporate power, making headlines around the world, bringing attention to their communities, and some work tirelessly and quietly and remain in the background but are no less important.
And every once in a while, one rises to prominence as a result of a confluence of events and activities, including unique expertise, good timing and hard work. These days, one of those people happens to be London’s Gordon McBean, a Nobel Prize-winning professor at the University of Western Ontario and the policy chair of the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.
He is Canada’s leading expert on global climate change and speaks regularly to international delegations exploring what North America will look like two decades from now.
A professor in Western’s departments of geography and political science, he is also a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international scientific body that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. vice-president Al Gore.
This week, McBean will be in Ottawa for North America 2030: An Environmental Outlook, a conference hosted by the Joint Public Advisory Committee of the Commission for Environmental Co-operation. He will talk about the implications of climate change on Canada and the Arctic, and the northern U.S.
Canada needs to prepare better for climate change; it needs a strategy, says McBean.
As well, McBean will present his research at various other conferences this summer, including those in Toronto; Halifax; Oslo, Norway; Davos, Switzerland; Kyoto, Japan; and Maputo, Mozambique.
To all of these gatherings, McBean will bring his unique expertise on what is perhaps this generation’s hottest (pardon the pun) and most important topic. Also, he will, like all of us, bring a London perspective and act as an unofficial ambassador for the city and for the university.
But in the end, it’s nice for those of us here to be reminded that there exists such esteemed expertise in our midst, and that we forget too often there are many others like him.
POSTED BY: Paul Berton, london
POSTED ON: June 24, 2008
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