Front Page Newsroom Focus the Nation 2008 at Lewis & Clark

Focus the Nation 2008 at Lewis & Clark


Focus The Nation, an unprecedented educational initiative on global warming solutions, culminated in the country’s largest-ever teach-in on January 31, 2008. On that day, Focus the Nation brought together millions of Americans at universities, colleges, and faith and civic organizations to create a sustained, non-partisan national discussion about confronting the challenge of climate stabilization.

Read more about Lewis & Clark's Focus the Nation 2008 schedule.

What's next? The National Teach-in on Global Warming Solutions

On February 5th, 2009, Eban Goodstein will lead the National Teach-In, which aspires to again engage millions of Americans at thousands of campuses and other institutions in a dialogue about the clean energy transformation that can stop global warming and renew both the American economy and spirit.

DukeFTNStudents keep tackling global warming

March 13, 2008

Calling Focus the Nation "a youthquake of activism," USA Today reflects on the success of the teach-in and looks to the future of climate activism. As Eban Goodstein, Professor of Economics and Focus the Nation Project Director, explains, "This is not a protest movement. It's an engagement movement." Read more at USA Today.

Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Campuses nationwide take creative approaches to climate-change event

February 2, 2008

More than 1,750 colleges and organizations highlighted climate change as part of Focus the Nation, the initiative which Professor of Economics Eban Goodstein organized as a way for professors to engage the next generation in environmental awareness. Read more at the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Portland teach-in draws 3,200

February 1, 2008

About 3,200 people turned out at the University of Portland to show lawmakers that their generation wants action to curb global warming. College students passionate about the issue produced the event, which was broadcast live on Oregon Public Broadcasting radio and moderated by public radio personality Sandra Tsing Loh. The night featured a question-and-answer session between students and elected officials including Gov. Ted Kulongoski, state Rep. Jackie Dingfelder of Portland, state Sen. Ben Westlund of Bend, and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer. Watch some of the activities below:

(Video courtesy of The Oregonian.)

Focus the Nation activities involve hundreds of professors

February 1, 2008

In an article that appeared in the New York Times, Time Magazine, and other nationwide publications, Associated Press reporter Julia Silverman explores the history of Focus the Nation and the events held at schools across the country. Activities, which included a mock debate and lecture series at Lewis & Clark, were meant to "reach a captive audience of students in many fields who might not otherwise tune in to climate change issues." Read more at MSNBC.

eban4Eban Goodstein's out to save the world

January 29, 2008

In a feature on Professor of Economics and Focus the Nation Project Director Eban Goodstein, the Oregonian's Shelby Wood examines the importance of next week's national teach-in and what motivated Goodstein to join the global warming movement. Goodstein, whose parents were active in the civil rights movement in Tennessee, hopes to create the same kind of social change present during the 1960s. Read more at The Oregonian.

Photo by Brent Wojahn (courtesy of The Oregonian).

Goodstein discusses the importance of stopping global warming

January 28, 2008

The Oregonian's Shelby Wood sat down with Professor of Economics and Focus the Nation Project Director Eban Goodstein. Watch the video below to learn more about what motivates Goodstein to devote himself to the issue of global warming, or use these links to access his discussions about why he launched a national teach-in about global warming and what will happen at Focus the Nation sites this week. Visit PDX Green, Wood's environmental blog, for more information.

Colleges across the nation gear up for Focus the Nation activities

January 24, 2008

The latest edition of the Christian Science Monitor features Focus the Nation activities in Vermont, Virginia, Colorado, and Missouri. Project Director and Economics Professor Eban Goodstein says, "The ultimate purpose of Focus the Nation ... is to move America by 2009 to the point where we say, 'Of course we can stop global warming. Of course we must.'" Read more at the Christian Science Monitor.

map2Teach-in now 1500 campuses strong

January 20, 2008

With less than two weeks until the national teach-in, over 1500 institutions have pledged to use January 31, 2008 to discuss global warming solutions. More than just that one day, Focus the Nation: Global Warming Solutions for America is an unprecedented educational initiative, involving colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools, faith groups, civic organizations and businesses. To learn more, visit Focus the Nation online.

Faculty, staff incorporate Focus the Nation into classrooms

January 17, 2008

As part of January 31's national teach-in, faculty across the country will lecture on the relationship between their discipline and the fight against global warming. Project Director Eban Goodstein, an economics professor at Lewis & Clark, says, "The function of a teach-in is that it’s a statement by educators about what should be important to young people. By building it into the regular class day, we’re sending a strong signal that, hey, you should be paying attention to this.” Read more at

Goodstein urges involvement in Focus the Nation

January 10, 2008

Focus the Nation Project Director and Lewis & Clark Professor of Economics Eban Goodstein's recent essay emphasizes the importance of becoming involved with Focus the Nation, a non-partisan group dedicated to finding solutions to global warming and its impacts. Goodstein, who notes that our response to climate change today and in the future will “either enable that future, or lock in a path to an impoverished planet,” urges students, educators, businesses, faith communities, and others to join Focus the Nation and have a “defining impact on the future direction of life on this planet." Read more at

david_norseStudents lead the fight against global warming

December 27, 2007

As the national teach-in approaches, Lewis & Clark students are working around the clock to raise awareness of Focus the Nation and what it represents. The Lake Oswego Review reports that junior Kiel Johnson and senior David Norse are leading the college’s efforts to increase discussion about global warming. Johnson, who has organized a “Warm-Coming Dance” for students, and Norse, who was responsible for October's Green Torch Relay, hope their generation can make a difference in the fight against climate change. However, as Norse points out, “It’s not a youth movement, it’s a humanitarian movement.” Read more at The Lake Oswego Review.

Polar PlungeGetting cold for global warming

December 13, 2007

For Professor of Economics and Focus the Nation Project Director Eban Goodstein, the chilly banks of the Willamette River are just another stop on the path to the elimination of global warming. On Saturday, December 8, Goodstein and others hosted a Polar Bear Plunge to raise awareness about the plight of the polar bear and other species threatened by global warming, which Goodstein calls a “problem that affects all life on this planet.”

Organizers and participants planned the event, which attracted hundreds of supporters, to draw attention to Focus the Nation’s national teach-in on global warming, on January 31. Read more about the Polar Bear Plunge and Goodstein’s efforts at The Oregonian.

FTN logoLewis & Clark Focus the Nation schedule of events announced

December 10, 2007

A preliminary schedule of events for Focus the Nation at Lewis & Clark is now available online. Planned events include an interactive webcast called 2% Solution, which will take place on the evening of January 30, 2008, at Templeton Campus Center's Council Chamber.

More than 35 sessions will take place during the Focus the Nation teach-in, on January 31, 2008. Panel discussions, featuring students, faculty, staff, and community members, will consider the impacts of global warming, obstacles to change, footprints and offsets, and many more topics.

For questions regarding the sessions or presenters, contact Jay Odenbaugh, associate professor of philosophy,

"Fighting for Love in the Century of Extinction" Offers Hope for Future

December 6, 2007

Focus the Nation Project Director and Lewis & Clark Professor of Economics Eban Goodstein's recently released book, "Fighting for Love in the Century of Extinction: How Passion and Politics Can Stop Global Warming" (University of Vermont Press: 2007), is reviewed in the November/December issue of Tikkun magazine. The review calls Goodstein's book a "surprising and passionate text," which offers hope that we can slow down the process of global warming and "save uncounted species from a sixth great mass extinction."

Focus the Nation becomes largest teach-in in U.S. history

November 15, 2007

With less than three months to go before the national teach-in on January 31, 2008, Focus the Nation now claims over 1000 members and has become the largest teach-in of its kind in U.S. history.

Focus the Nation has also launched a new website, which allows participants to view personalized pages and gain more information about the teach-in and project. The new website includes an Organizers' Forum, sample agenda, and timeline for success.

GreenTorchAs Focus the Nation grows, L&C students engage Oregon politicians

October 23, 2007

As the national teach-in approaches, Focus the Nation continues to increase membership and now claims branches in all 50 states. More than 900 schools and institutions are signed up for the cause, which is still on track to become the largest national teach-in in U.S. history.

Lewis & Clark students, faculty, and staff gathered signatures inviting Oregon’s two U.S. Senators to Portland for a regional summit on January 31st. The signatures were delivered to the Senators as part of a “Green Torch” relay, in which students ran, walked, and paddled their way from Portland to Salem. On the way, they stopped at high schools and middle schools to talk about the importance of Focus the Nation. The event kicked off at Lewis & Clark on Sunday, October 21.

Goodstein's efforts grab the attention of The Oregonian, more than 600 institutions

September 7, 2007

As the summer winds down, Focus the Nation gains momentum and support ahead of its January 31, 2008 goal. More than 600 institutions have already committed to changing the future by leading Focus the Nation activities around the country.

The Oregonian's new environmental blog, PDX Green, will follow Focus the Nation's progress, as Eban Goodstein, Focus the Nation project director and professor of economics, continues his campaign to recruit participants and voice his critical concerns about global warming.

"I think the next two or three years are going to be in many ways the most critical years in human history. And that is not an understatement," Goodstein said. Read more at The Oregonian.

Professor Eban GoodsteinHot air: Goodstein squelches global warming skeptics

August 30, 2007

(Portland, Ore.)—When it comes to global warming, ignorance is not bliss—it’s irresponsible and it’s dangerous. From that perspective, a recent book review penned by Eban Goodstein, Focus the Nation project director and professor of economics, confronts not only skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg, author of “Cool It,” but all global warming doubters. Wielding his expertise on the economic effects of global climate change, Goodstein deflects Lomborg’s assertion that global warming is essentially tolerable and condemns his failure “to grapple with the real economic rationale for cutting carbon now: to buy insurance against the possibility of catastrophic outcomes.” Read Goodstein’s full article at

Focus the Nation MySpace awardFocus the Nation wins MySpace award for cultural impact

July 30, 2007

(Portland, Ore.) – Focus the Nation, a national project housed at Lewis & Clark, won an Impact Award from MySpace for its efforts to build community engagement around the global warming crisis. The largest online community portal nominated the Focus the Nation Web site for its positive cultural impact, and MySpace members voted it the top environmental project.

Focus the Nation is building the country’s largest-ever teach-in, taking place on January 31, 2008. The project primarily involves teams of faculty and students at colleges and universities who will collaboratively engage in a nationwide discussion about global warming solutions for the United States.

While Focus the Nation is based in educational institutions, it is also engaging Americans in their churches, mosques, synagogues, businesses and civic organizations. The intent is to focus the growing concern in the country about global warming, and to create a serious, sustained and truly national discussion about clean energy solutions, linking students and citizens directly with our political leaders.

Using new media has been key to organizing the national teach-in, a model for activism and advocacy most often associated with the civil rights and anti-war movement. Read more

ebanLewis & Clark's Goodstein works to address global warming solutions

November 27, 2006

(Portland, Ore.)—Alarmed by global warming, Lewis & Clark College economics professor Eban Goodstein has been traveling the country this fall coordinating a national symposium on global warming solutions. He returns to Portland on Saturday, Dec. 2, to rally support for his “Focus the Nation” symposium.

“As a species, we now understand that for the last 150 years we have been engaged in an unprecedented natural experiment, in which we have been drastically altering the basic nature of the planet’s climate control system,” Goodstein said. “Focus the Nation will engage the country with the question: How do we stop this dangerous experiment and move towards a more hopeful, clean-energy future?”

Focus the Nation is a national effort to coordinate teams of faculty, students, and staff at more than 1,000 colleges, universities and high schools in the United States, to work collaboratively on a nationwide, interdisciplinary discussion on the theme of “Global Warming Solutions for America.” The project will culminate January 31, 2008, in a one-day, national symposium held simultaneously on campuses across the country. Read more

FTN iceberg imgTurning up the heat: A professor-turned-activist works to stop global warming

Winter 2007, Lewis & Clark Chronicle

(Portland, Ore.)—When Eban Goodstein, professor of economics, celebrated Father's Day a couple of years back with his then–15-year-old daughter, Emma, they chose to visit one of his favorite places--Mount St. Helens. On their journey to the volcano's crater, they hiked through meadows of vivid wildflowers and fields of pristine snow. As they stood at the summit, gazing in wonder at the majestic snowcapped peaks all around—Hood, Rainier, Adams, Jefferson—Goodstein couldn't help but feel a pang as he contemplated what might happen to that spectacular vista in the not-so-distant future.

"I know that for my grandchildren," he says, "much of the summer snowpack, and the water in the streams, and the flowers in the meadows—a lot of this will be gone."

As temperatures inch inexorably higher, scientists predict, the snowpack melt in the Cascade Mountains will accelerate over the next century, causing widespread summer drought in the Northwest. The region could suffer severe water shortages for drinking and farming. With temperatures continuing their steep climb, the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets could collapse in 200 to 1,000 years, raising sea levels by as much as 40 feet. There goes Oregon's beautifully rugged coastline. And Portland, for that matter; in the worst-case scenario, floodwaters are projected to rise deep into the city's downtown. The Northwest so many of us cherish won't be recognizable.

"The actions humans take over the next decade will determine our future," says Goodstein, who has taught economics at Lewis & Clark for a decade. Read more