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Dodd talks about energy sustainability at CCSU CCSU symposium

Thursday, April 16, 2009 10:58 PM EDT

Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN — U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., served as the keynote speaker during a town hall meeting at Central Connecticut State University’s second annual Global Environmental Sustainability Symposium Thursday.

Dodd praised President Barack Obama for taking positive steps to address issues of global warming that were long ignored by his predecessor.

Associate Professor Charles Button, founder and co-chairman of the symposium, said the large attendance showed that the public recognizes that energy sustainability is no longer a fad.

“We’re reaching more people and helping show them how to make an impact that will affect the lives of their children,” Button said.

The two-day seminar covers environmental areas including recycling, lifestyles and the carbon footprint and implementing solar energy and wind power strategies.

“Our ability to embrace these ideas is critically important in the ways our nation’s competitiveness, our independence and our security as a people,” Dodd said.

Dodd told the audience that people across the country are coming together to face the problems of energy sustainability.

“We are at a very transformative moment in our nation’s history,” he said. “Global warming threatens our health, our country and our world. And that is not hyperbole.”

Mitigating global climate change is recognized as one of the most pressing issues facing society today, according to Button.

Dodd agreed and said that the issues will only become worse as time goes on.

“Just to begin we’re going to have to reduce our carbon emissions by some 80 percent when experts agree that oil and energy prices will be going up,” Dodd said.

The biggest push, Dodd said, was to push for public transportation throughout the nation.

“Transit will be one of the keys to solve our problems,” he said. “Most of our nation’s transportation system is inefficient but they can be fixed.”

Although he said it would take time, Dodd allowed that with solar and wind power the country can pass on a better country to the children of tomorrow.

“I firmly believe as I speak before you today at this university that creating that kind of clean energy future is well within our reach as a people,” he said.

Also speaking at the symposium were Danielle Rosengarten, environmental legislative counsel for Sen. Joe Lieberman; Roger Smith, coordinator of Connecticut Climate Coalition and Dr. Richard Bachoo, chief administrator officer for CCSU.

James Craven can be reached at jcraven@newbritainherald.com or by calling (860) 225-4601, ext. 231.
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