Lecture Preview

Title: University Lecture Series — Great Decisions: Cuba after Castro
The Basics: This Great Decisions lecture is part of the Passport to Global Awareness course and will be webcast by the World Affairs Council. The lecture will discuss the challenges and opportunities in reopening ties with Cuba. Since Fidel Castro handed over the presidency of Cuba to Raúl Castro in early 2008, there have been mixed messages of change and keeping the status quo in terms of U.S.–Cuban relations.
The lecture will question whether Castro seeks to reopen ties with the U.S. and what role Cuban-Americans will play in shaping a post-Fidel Castro Cuba. For more information on Great Decisions 2009, please visit the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh website.
When: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 6–8 p.m.
Where: Gregg Hall (Porter 100)

Title: University Lecture Series — Global Warming: Doing what the planet needs in Washington, Copenhagen, Pittsburgh, and tropical forests
The Basics: Doug Boucher will discuss the importance of the next four months in terms of taking action on global warming around the world.
Washington has the Senate debating on the House-passed energy and climate bill, and negotiations are underway in Copenhagen for a new treaty to make drastic reductions in greenhouse gases.
Boucher believes the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh on Sept. 24 –25 is key for both these events, since it is where President Obama and the leaders of the world’s largest economies could make a commitment to making the necessary investments to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.
Boucher will explain why part of this commitment needs to be reducing tropical deforestation, which is responsible for about 20 percent of global warming pollution.
The presentation will also weigh the balance of forces and the political dynamics that could lead to historic steps on climate change in the next few months — or to a failure to act that would have drastic consequences for the planet. Doug Boucher joined the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) in July 2007 as director of its Tropical Forests and Climate Initiative.
He is in charge of UCS’s work in the United States and in the international climate change negotiations on tropical deforestation and its role in climate change. He is based in UCS’s Washington office.
He has published widely on ecology and forest management issues, most recently in Ecology, Science, Plant Ecology, Forest Ecology and Management, and the Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. Boucher has a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Michigan and a B.A. in ecology and history from Yale University.
When: Thursday, Sept. 10, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Breed Hall (Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall 103)

Title: World Poverty: Explanations and Responsibilities
The Basics: Thomas Pogge, the Leitner Professor of Philosophy and International Affairs at Yale University, will lecture on the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor. He will discuss severe poverty in poorer countries and its connection to about one third of all human deaths. Pogge will also focus on what role global institutional arrangements, such as the rules of the WTO Treaty, play in the persistence of severe poverty, and how poverty could affect the responsibility of citizens in affluent countries to work for its eradication.
When: Monday, Sept. 14, 4:30 p.m
Where: Gregg Hall (Porter 100)