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Climate Madness!!



We are down to the final eight — the Adaptation 8! In this final round of voting for Climate Madness!! two activists, two scientists, two organizations, and two summits/reports vie for their position in the Final Four Climate Change Heroes! The final round of voting will be open until midnight, December 2nd, so vote today!!


Not March Madness — this is Climate Madness!!

UMA’s 2016 academic theme is climate change. Dr. Kati Corlew, her Psychology of Disaster and Climate Change class, and the UMA Libraries have joined forces to organize a semester-long game to honor some of the heroes of climate change.

Around the world, there are thousands upon thousands of scientists, activists, advocates, politicians, researchers, and organizations that are hard at work trying to save the human race from the biggest and most devastating challenge we have ever faced: climate change. Sometimes we get the impression that no one is doing anything, but that is simply not true! This fall, we challenge you to join us and learn a bit more about just a few of the many, many amazing people, organizations, summits, and reports that are championing the climate change cause!

What is this?

Climate Madness!! A bracketed, single-elimination competition of climate change heroes. It’s just like March Madness, except we didn’t think we’d get world-renowned climate scientists to come to Maine and play basketball against each other. Instead, we’re just going to learn more about them and then vote on our favorites.

How does it work?

Dr. Kati Corlew’s students in PSY 333e “Psychology of Disaster and Climate Change” will provide brief descriptions of the scientists, activists, advocates, organizations, summits, and reports listed below.

You — the students, faculty, staff, administration, friends and community of UMA — will vote on your favorites! When the voting periods are open, you can vote here on this webpage or you can vote live in Nottage Library (Bangor campus) or Katz Library (Augusta campus).

The winners of each round will be carried forward and paired up for the next round of voting until we have our four winners — UMA’s favorite climate change scientist, activist/advocate, organization, and summit/report.

When is the voting open?

Round 1 voting (32 names/16 pairs): September 26th to October 7th

Round 2 voting (16 names/8 pairs): October 24th – November 4th

Round 3 voting (8 names/4 pairs): November 18th – December 2nd

Final Four Winners announced December 6th!!!

FINAL ROUND voting is now open!

“Adaptation 8”

~ 2 scientists ~ 2 activists/advocates ~

~ 2 organizations ~ 2 summits/synthesis reports ~

~ 8 Climate Change Heroes ~

Learn more about our 8 climate change heroes below. Read the descriptions and follow the links to learn about just a few of the many, many folks out there who are working hard to save our planet! When you are ready, CLICK THIS LINK TO VOTE! (the descriptions are also on the voting page)


Al Gore versus Naomi Klein

Al Gore is best known in the Climate change world for his film “An Inconvenient Truth” He brought to light the issue of climate changes to everyone who saw the film. He has been a huge proponent for Earth Day and very generous with his time and money in helping fund organizations for climate change.  While he has been criticized for some of his policies, he does many things to spread the word of climate changes and the impacts it has on the environment. He founded The Climate Reality Project, which is a non-profit organization that provides leadership training and education to help everyone on earth become active in climate change. The Climate Reality Project also includes the annual event, 24 Hours of Reality. This live, multimedia event gathers experts and activists from around the globe to speak out about climate change. Speakers talk about science, policy, activism, and what people are doing around the world to solve our climate crisis.

Learn more at


Vote for Naomi Klein; she is an outspoken crusader for climate change and protecting people from big corporations. Klein is a well-known social activist and board of directors’ member for She activated the anti-corporate globalization movement with her book, No Logo, which attacked large corporations for unethical employee exploitation. Many people are familiar with this because Nike faced much criticism, and opened many consumers’ eyes to how bad the conditions are for many workers in third world countries. She won the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism for her journalism in Iraq. She has also been awarded the Sydney Peace Prize.

Her most recent book is the New York Times Bestseller “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.” She talks about how our world economy needs to change if we want to curb climate change, and ways we can promote change in our governments to be more mindful of trade agreements and promoting clean consumption. Her message to us is that the Status Quo Does Not Work. Fossil fuels will not feed our economy forever. Klein has fully immersed herself into feminism and activism for what is right whether it be climate change, war, or unethical consumerism. Naomi is a fighter for the climate and is not afraid to show it, most recently calling for President Elect Trump to stick to the Paris Agreement.

Learn more:



Naomi Oreskes versus Sally Ride

Dr. Naomi Oreskes is an important asset in the fight against climate change because of her expertise in multiple backgrounds; geology and history. Her close work with Dr. Erik M. Conway on the 2010 publication of the book “Merchants of Doubt,” exposed the truth behind climate change controversy. The same tactic used by the tobacco industries in the 1950’s and ‘60s to cast a shadow of doubt on the ill effects is the same tactic being used now concerning climate change. In 2014 this book was made into a documentary film, Merchants of Doubt from Sony Pictures.

Dr. Oreskes is a professor of History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Science at Harvard University. Her unique perspective, and bold ability to speak publically on climate change, Ted Talk “Why We Should Trust Scientists”, brings a relatability and more dynamic understanding of the climate challenges we face. According to the New York Times, (6/15/15) “her approach is to dig deep into the history of climate change denial, documenting its links to other episodes in which critics challenged a developing scientific consensus.”

See her Ted Talk here:


Sally Ride– May 26, 1951-July 23,2012

American astrophysicist and astronaut Sally Ride was the first American woman in space, and the third overall.  Aboard the Challenger Space Shuttle in June of 1983, she would not only become the first American woman go to space, but also the youngest astronaut to go to space at 32, she still holds that honor to this day.  Ride’s first ambition was not to space exploration but rather Tennis. When she couldn’t make a career out of Tennis she turned to Science and got a doctorate degree through Stanford University. Ride applied for NASA in 1977, along with 8,000 other applicants, and after a year she became 1 of 35 people selected for training.  Other major accomplishments in her career and life include: In 1984 on her second voyage Ride was the first to use a Robotic arm to retrieve a satellite and collect ice samples, also a two-time recipient of the NASA Space Flight Medal.  Ride was also the only person to serve on accident investigation boards for both the Challenger and Colombia space shuttle disasters.

Ride became CEO of her own company in 2001, called ‘Sally Ride Science’ which was dedicated to engaging students, mainly female, in science-related programs and also providing training for teachers. Sally Ride touched the lives of many people, she was given the honors of being inducted to the National Woman’s Hall of Fame, the Astronaut Hall of Fame and the National Aviation Hall of Fame.  She was honored with a Samul S. Beard Jefferson Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the highest civilian award one can achieve.  In 2013, the United States Navy named a research ship in her honor. Through her dedication and contributions in all aspects of her life, Sally Ride will remain a legacy.

Learn more:



UNFCCC versus Sierra Club

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international treaty on climate change that focuses on the stabilization of greenhouse gases. Opening in 1992, this treaty also known as the Earth Summit Project, created a goal between nations to help prevent dangerous emissions to the climate system. Each party involved with this treaty must submit approval upon trying to effectively implement technology and development to make the Earth eco-friendlier and reduce harm to the environment. Their goal as stated by the UNFCCC is to “prevent “dangerous” anthropogenic (i.e., human-caused) interference of the climate system.” High emissions and extensive fossil fuel usage are very harmful to the environment and this treaty was created to help put those harmful things in our past.  Understanding climate change is just half the battle. This organization leads the way in implementing and teaching others how we can adapt naturally to this change.

Learn more at:


The Sierra Club rose from the Sierra Nevada Mountains more than a century ago and have remained a monumental influence in conservation. Do you enjoy paying $4.00 per gallon of home heating oil? One of the Sierra Club’s prime focuses is to promote the development of clean energy programs and infrastructure.

“Imagine a world with clean, abundant, affordable energy. One where climate disruption is a fading threat and American soldiers are never again deployed to defend oil fields” “A wealthier, more productive nation, whose leaders answer only to the citizens who elect them. This is America beyond oil” (Sierra Club)

Ever wanted to experience some other parts of America? The Sierra Club’s founding charter has been to protect America from reckless destruction. In parts of our own backyards the government is scalping untouched wilderness in hopes of there being an exploitable resource below. The Sierra Club wants there to be clean rivers and streams for kids to play in, wilderness to experience, and splendor to get lost in for generations beyond the current. Don’t you?

“America’s public lands are held in “public trust” for and by all Americans”

Sierra Club

Learn more at:



US NCA versus Kyoto, 1997

The National Climate Assessment is a report periodically created by drawing together hundreds of American climate change experts to review the current state of science and future projections for climate changes in the United States. The current report was published in 2014 and covers major impacts that the United States is experiencing or can expect, including extreme weather, human health impacts, damage to infrastructure, threats to our water supply and agriculture, impacts to our Indigenous Peoples, damages to our ecosystems and biodiversity, and threats to our oceans. The 2014 NCA also includes regional reports to explore how different parts of our country are impacted differently by climate change, and also looks at broad “regions” like rural communities and coastal areas that are likely to experience different threats than urban centers with greater resources, or inland areas that are unlikely to be impacted by sea level rise or erosion. As for impacts to Maine, the US NCA reports that “Heat waves, heavy downpours, and sea level rise pose growing challenges to many aspects of life in the Northeast. Infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised.”

Learn more at:


The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 was the world’s first climate change treaty. It is an international agreement among 192 developed countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur, hexafluoride, HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons), and PFCs (perfluorinated compound).  This agreement binds the 192 developed countries to promote greener growth, due to the historically responsible rates of emissions they hold. It entered force on February 16, 2005; making it known that global warming is a serious and dangerous reality that is largely due to human C02 emissions. From the years 2008 to 2012, greenhouse gas emissions were collectively 22.6% lower than the 1990 levels. This is a huge accomplishment because the treaty only “asked” for a 5% commitment. It has spread global knowledge about the seriousness of global warming, and the critical measures needed to save our environment. Bill Clinton stated that the treaty was “…environmentally strong and economically sound…” as well as a “…commitment from our generation to act in the interests of future generations…”

While the Kyoto Protocol in an active and continually successful treaty, the US National Climate Assessment only summarizes the impacts of climate change currently.  These are groups of scientists that conduct studies to measure the levels of emissions, and inform us of “already absorbed changes, current status…”

Learn more at:


Click HERE to Vote!

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