Dozens of local biotech and bioscience leaders channeled impressions of the international climate change summit Thursday by way of an interactive satellite teleconference, which was viewed at the University of San Diego.
The "Live from Copenhagen" event linked the San Diegans to members of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's climate team in a question-and-answer session moderated by Carl Nettleton, president and founder of OpenOceans Global.
"The governor gave an amazing speech [at the summit on Tuesday] ... and I believe this is the first time in the history of the United Nations climate talks that sub-national leaders have been allowed to speak as part of the official U.N. program," said Mary Nichols, who chairs the California Air Resources Board. "So I think that shows the importance of what California and other sub-national leaders around the world are doing."
Other panelists sharing insights and answering questions from Copenhagen were state environmental protection secretary Linda Adams, Natural Resources Secretary Mike Chrisman and Food & Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura.
The satellite symposium also cast light on local efforts to address climate change.
"We here in San Diego are really world leaders in terms of our technology," said attorney John Lormon, whose firm, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, co-sponsored the event at USD. "Our research institutions -- Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD and others -- are really putting into practical application alternative energies and ways to make our world a better place to live."
Asked in an interview about skepticism toward the validity of global-warming science, Lormon replied, "There is a debate going on about the effect of climate change, and we recognize that. I'm not a scientist, but I believe that debate's a healthy debate, that it should take place, and the right facts and science should win out in the end."
President Barack Obama and the leaders of 100 other nations are scheduled to arrive Friday in Copenhagen, as wrangling over an international treaty to reduce carbon emissions reaches a crescendo in the summit's final hours.