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Enlightening Perspectives: Unraveling Climate Change with Prof. David I. McLean

12 Jan 2024
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By AIT Public Affairs

12 January 2023: In a seminar titled “Climate Change: Simple, Serious, Solvable“, Prof. David I. McLean, member of the Board of Trustees for the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) and Emeritus Dean of the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering at Colorado State University, shared key insights into the critical issues surrounding climate change. The seminar, organized by AIT on 12 January 2024, brought together a diverse audience of experts, researchers, students, and concerned individuals and explored the complexities of climate change, its imminent threats, and potential resolutions.

Seminar hall with participants and Prof. McLean

Addressing the urgency and complexity of the global challenge, Prof. McLean underscored the immediate need for action. Drawing on his 43 years of experience in engineering design, education, and research, he portrayed climate change as “Simple, Serious, and Solvable.” The crisis, almost entirely caused by human activities, especially by the burning of fossil fuels, was depicted as the defining challenge of our time, with global impacts accelerating.

During the seminar, Prof. McLean underscored the severe impact of climate change on ecosystems, human health, food and water supplies, and economies worldwide. The root cause, he asserted, lies in the burning of fossil fuels, leading to the release of greenhouse gases and subsequent global warming.

Prof. McLean presented key points, incorporating scientific evidence dating back to the 18th century. He explained the greenhouse gas effect, illustrating the correlation between carbon dioxide emissions and the rise in global temperatures. Critical issues surfaced, including the reluctance of some individuals and governments to acknowledge or address climate change.

Prof. Mclean
Group photo from the seminar

Highlighting the stark disparity between developed and developing countries, Prof. McLean stressed the responsibility of industrialized nations to provide essential resources for developing countries to respond to the impacts of climate change and transition toward green economies.

In conclusion, the presentation offered a forward-looking perspective, with Prof. McLean proposing viable solutions to mitigate climate change. These solutions ranged from transitioning to cleaner energy sources, redesigning and modernizing the energy grid, developing energy storage technologies, adopting sustainable agricultural practices, and protecting carbon sinks like forests. The seminar emphasized the importance of international cooperation, financial support for less developed countries, and the implementation of immediate and long-term adaptation strategies.

About Prof. David I. McLean

Prof. David I. McLean is Emeritus Dean of the Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering at Colorado State University. He has been involved in engineering design, education, and research for more than 43 years. Prof. McLean’s research expertise is in structural engineering with primary applications to the sustainable design of the built environment. He is the author of more than 100 refereed papers, technical reports, monographs, and book chapters. Prof. McLean has received numerous medical and national awards for his research, teaching, advising, and consulting activities. Prof. McLean currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Asian Institute of Technology.

Dual Degree Programs with CSU

AIT currently has two dual degree programs with CSU, one with the Water Engineering and Management Program and another with the Geotechnical and Earth Resources Engineering Program. 

🌏 Learn more about dual degree programs in AIT at: https://ait.ac.th/study/dual-degree-programs/

🌏 Learn more about this dual degree program in WEM with CSU:  https://ait.ac.th/program/dual-degree-masters-program-in-water-engineering-and-management-with-colorado-state-university/

🐏 About Colorado State Universityhttps://www.colostate.edu/