Contributed by Guest Blogger Rick Sellano

Moral dilemmas regarding the effects of pollution on our cities (and now our planet) have been around for a long time. Some believe air and water contamination are an unfortunate, but necessary, by-products of industrialization and advancement. The word "advancement" might provoke some mixed sentiments since clean power from sustainable windmills and watermills has been available for ages. But centuries ago, we weren’t manufacturing cars.

Add skepticism to the mix, something that seems to plague the topic of climate change, and things get a bit muddier. There’s no doubt that an open mind is a valuable vessel and that the process of questioning advances learning. Going strictly with environmental science, EPA research provides two key predictions: “First, continued emissions of greenhouse gases will lead to further climate change—a warmer atmosphere, a warmer and more acidic ocean, higher sea levels and larger changes in precipitation patterns. Second, the extent of future climate change depends on what we do now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The more we emit, the more extensive future changes will be.”

A plumb plan to explore the path of our dynamic global landscape is to attend our presentation by Dr. John Francis on March 5, at 2:00 pm, at the Ambler Campus Learning Center Auditorium. Dr. Francis will speak about his transformation from an environmental activist to an environmental practitioner—and how his and our personal journeys might lead us closer to sustainability. This may be your chance to discover if there’s more you can and want to do to safeguard the environment.

Dr. Francis began to enact his environmental energy and passion in 1971 after witnessing an oil spill in the San Francisco Bay. He stopped using motorized vehicles and took a vow of silence lasting 17 years. He earned three degrees, including a doctorate in land resources, from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Later, he served as project manager for the United States Coast Guard Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and authored "Planetwalker: 17 Years of Silence, 22 Years of Walking" and "Ragged Edge of Silence: Finding Peace in a Noisy World."

Our world is precious and its ecosystems, in many ways, delicate. At Morris Arboretum, we believe that being an advocate for the environment means tapping into as much information as possible. We hope you'll take advantage of this chance to learn how one person—walking the talk—can make a significant impact. Also, find out if even in a small way, you can cultivate heartier support for our planet. Registration for Dr. Francis’s lecture is required. Register here.