A one-day symposium on climate change will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30 at the Camden Opera House. The program “Global realities of climate change: Its impact in Maine, Managing it in China,” is co-sponsored by the Camden Conference and the First Congregational Church of Camden. The goal of this symposium is to raise awareness of man’s impact on the environment and to examine the topic of climate change.

“The widespread impacts of pollution and climate change are central issues not only for the United States, but also for the developing economies of Asia,” said Robert Hirsch, President of the Camden Conference. “In collaboration with the First Congregational Church, we plan to explore this topic as we lead up to next February’s Camden Conference, ‘The Challenges of Asia’.”

The symposium will consist of two panels. In the morning the speakers will present climate change research that has led to projections of scenarios for global change including change that may occur in the state of Maine. Much of the discussion on Maine will come from a special report, “Maine’s Climate Future” that was completed in late 2009. State policy and preparation for climate change will be part of the program.

In the afternoon speakers will more specifically address how climate change may affect economic, security and energy issues for China and how this could affect cooperative efforts between China and the United States.

“After an incredibly beautiful Maine summer, some may ask the question why worry about climate change,” said Bruce Cole, conference coordinator for the First Congregational Church. “Yet even this summer seemed highly unusual. It was one of the hottest Maine summers on record. Plants were flowering 10 days to two weeks early. And in other parts of the world, Russia was burning, Pakistan suffered from catastrophic floods that left millions homeless, and an iceberg five times the size of Manhattan broke off Greenland. Are these isolated events unrelated to climate change or part of pattern of a world that is changing before our eyes?”

Speakers for “Global realities of climate change: Its impact in Maine, Managing it in China” include: George L. Jacobson, Professor of Botany and Quaternary Studies, and former Director, Institute for Quaternary and Climate Studies, University of Maine; Joseph T. Kelly, Chairman of the Department of Earth Sciences, Professor of Geology and Oceanography, University of Maine; Malcolm Burson, Associate Policy Director of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection; Taiya M. Smith, Senior advisor at the United Nations Foundation and former senior associate in the Carnegie Energy and Climate Program and the Carnegie China’s Program on climate, energy, and environmental policies; and Kelly Sims Gallagher, Associate Professor of Energy and Environmental Policy at the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and Director of The Energy, Climate, and Innovation Program at the School’s Center for International Environment and Resource Policy.

The symposium runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the registration fee is $35 for adults and $15 for students. Lunch is not included. Teacher CEUs are available. To register for “Global realities of climate change: Its impact in Maine, Managing it in China,” please visit www.camdenconference.org. For more information, please contact the Camden Conference at 236-1034, or toll-free at 1-877-214-8579.