What Is, Not What If
More than 30 years ago – well before any students in this project were born – President-elect George H.W. Bush spoke about climate change: “In my first year in office, I will convene a global conference on the environment at the White House. The agenda will be clear. We will talk about global warming. We will talk about saving our oceans and preventing the loss of tropical forests. And we will act.”
In 2015 during a trip to the Everglades, then-President Barack Obama credited Bush and added, “This is not something that historically should be a partisan issue.”
Nationally and globally, much of the conversation about climate change has been territorial and political. In Mississippi, governors have ignored the topic – speaking of it rarely, if ever. Likewise, the Legislature has been silent.
The state’s science, industrial, agricultural and energy sectors, however, have been working to address change being experienced, and devising strategies to confront the change to come. This student project focuses on what is, not what if. It focuses on practices, not policy.
The team and advisers offer our thanks to former Dean Will Norton Jr. of the School of Journalism and New Media at the University of Mississippi who conceived this project and offered continuing encouragement, to the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi, to students and faculty at the University of Nebraska who have been working on a parallel project, and to all sources who graciously shared their time and expertise.
Anne Florence Brown
Will Norton Jr.
“Our land, water and soil support a remarkable range of human activities. But they can only take so much. We must remember to treat them not as a given, but as a gift.”