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This release prepared by the Office of Public Relations and Marketing.
Rebecca Eidson, Director, 646-1507,
Lisa Garrett, Public Relations Associate, 646-1506,

Global Environmentalist Ben Namakin To Speak at Tri-County Technical College October 4


(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON ---  Micronesian activist Ben Namakin will be on the Tri-County Technical College campus Wednesday, October 4, to speak about climate change.  The address will begin at 1:40 p.m. in the Marshall J. Parker Auditorium in Oconee Hall.  The event is free and open to the public.

Namakin, who is of the Pacific Island of Micronesia, will speak about the human impact of climate change.  He is a youth leader on climate change and an environmental educator with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei.  His homeland is beginning to sink because of rising sea levels associated with climate change.  New information released this week by the British Antarctic Survey shows that these levels are rising faster than predicted.

Namakin arrived in the United States in mid-September as part of an international delegation from communities severely impacted by oil over-consumption and global warming.  The delegation, whose members hail from the Arctic, Micronesia, the US Gulf Coast, Iraq and Nigeria, attended events in New York City and then spread out to communities throughout the United States to educate audiences about how the one-two punch of oil and global warming is affecting their communities.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our times, and without coordinated and immediate action, within a few decades our world will be a very different place than it is today,” said Mike Hudema, the Independence from Oil director at Global Exchange, the San Francisco-based human rights group sponsoring the oil and climate change speaking tour that Namakin is part of.  “The Arctic is melting during the summer months, the Pacific Islands are beginning to drown, hurricanes are raging in the gulf and droughts and heat waves are becoming commonplace.  This problem won’t be solved by turning our backs on the Kyoto Protocol and the rest of the global community.  We need commitments and action today.”

Namakin said, “How sad to see your island sinking! Kiribati, where I grew up, is only two to three meters high.  You can imagine what will happen in the next 25 years or so if no action is taken. Also, saltwater intrusion is a big problem for our small gardens and taro patches. During high tides, sea water slowly seeps into the thin wedge of the ground and affects the quality of the water in the taro patches and in our drinking well water. We are also experiencing coastal erosion, and landslides that killed people in Micronesia.  We just never thought we’d be experiencing all these.”

For more information about the tour, go to




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