Water, global security focus for E.N. Thompson Forum


The E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues will examine the relationship between water and international security for the 2011-12 season, which launches Sept. 28.

Water has been a source of conflict for centuries. Civilizations have risen and fallen based on their ability to harness its power. Water’s value has continued to rise, whether as a tool for improving global health, ensuring social welfare and political stability, or promoting economic development and environmental sustainability.

Forum speakers will address the challenges of scarcity, security and sustainability. All forum lectures will be presented in the Lied Center for Performing Arts, 301 N. 12th St.

All lectures in the series are free and open to the public, but require a ticket to attend. To get free, general admission tickets, call the Lied Center at (402) 472-4747 or (800) 432-3231, pick them up at the box office or order them through the forum’s website, http://enthompson.unl.edu. Tickets will be available at the door on a first-come, first-served basis. Spring semester tickets will be available beginning Jan. 9.

Dates and speakers for the 2011-12 E.N. Thompson Forum are:

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m. -- Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner, will present “Environment, Democracy and Peace--A Critical Link.” Recognizing the strong implications of sustainable management of the environment, she will present an argument for democracy rooted in respect for human rights, equity and justice.

Tuesday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m. -- Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project and a leading authority on international freshwater issues, will present “Dividing the Waters: Global Security in a Water-Stressed World.” She will discuss the growing competition for water and how that will increasingly define economic, social and ecological security.

Tuesday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m. -- Michael Forsberg, award-winning wildlife photographer and Nebraska native, will present “Pulse of the Plains: A Photographer’s Journey Connecting Water, Wildlife and Landscape.” He will reflect on his last 15 years of documenting the natural environment and why the ecosystem and its creatures matter here in Nebraska and around the world.

Thursday, Feb. 16, 7 p.m. -- Valmont Industries executives Mogens Bay and E. Robert Meaney will deliver the Lewis E. Harris Lecture on Public Policy. Their talk, “Is a Global Water Crisis Avoidable?” will examine the global crisis in the supply and quality of water for agriculture. They will discuss solutions ranging from scientific advances to governance and economic development.

Wednesday, March 28, 7 p.m. -- Don Worster, a pioneer in the area of environmental history, will present “An Unquenchable Thirst: How the Great Plains Created a Water Abundance and Then Lost It.” He’ll address current issues relating to water, agricultural production, the natural environment, economic development and global food security within the historical context of the 1862 legislation that shaped the Great Plains. His lecture is co-sponsored by the Center for Great Plains Studies’ symposium, “1862-2012: The Making of the Great Plains.”

Lectures will be available live online at http://www.unl.edu, and on Lincoln TimeWarner Cable Channel 21 or 5, UNL campus Channel 8 and UNL’s KRNU radio (90.3 FM). Live satellite broadcasts and follow-up discussion will be available in Kearney, Hastings, Columbus, McCook, North Platte, Omaha and Scottsbluff.

Sign language interpreters will be available at each lecture for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The series is a cooperative project of the philanthropic Cooper Foundation, the Lied Center and UNL. It was established in 1988 to offer all Nebraskans a better understanding of world events and issues.

- Jean Ortiz Jones, University Communications

More details at: http://go.unl.edu/3jw