The Uninhabitable Earth? Climate Change and Your Future

02 Sep 2021
6:00 PM
Great Hall, Memorial Union
  • Political Science
  • Catt Center for Women and Politics
  • Committee on Lectures (funded by Student Government)

Event Recording Link:

Correction to video: The environmental scientist Elena Shevliaoka estimates that if the Amazon disappears altogether, it would add about 0.25°C to global temperature rise, and up to 4.5°C to regional temperatures. Citation:

This panel discussion will focus on the effects of climate change, particularly political, psychological, and economic consequences, and what we can do to mitigate or change our current situation.

This event is being held to celebrate ISU alum Dwight Ink’s 99th birthday (which is September 9). Mr. Ink is a native Iowan, an accomplished civil servant with extraordinary and outstanding contributions to government and governing, and a trusted advisor to seven U.S. presidents. Mr. Ink, who grew up in a poverty-stricken rural family during the Great Depression, entered Iowa State College in 1940, but he left to serve in the U.S. Army for three years (1942–1945). He returned to Ames and in 1947 was the first Iowa State student to earn a degree in government.

Moderator: Dr. Karen Kedrowski is Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics and Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University. The Catt Center conducts research on women and politics, with a focus on Iowa; and promotes civic engagement. In addition to her duties at the Catt Center, Dr. Kedrowski teaches courses in American Politics and conducts research on women in American politics and civic engagement. She joined the Iowa State faculty in January 2019.


Dr. Yu Wang (Associate Professor, Political Science) has expertise in energy transition, climate change, and energy security. She models the national energy market using a computable general equilibrium model to provide projections of future energy supply and demand. She conducts cost-benefit analysis and lifecycle assessment to analyze issues related to energy transition and climate change. Her work evaluates the cost-effectiveness of clean energy technologies based on energy market modeling, as well as customer acceptance and public support for clean energy technologies. Dr. Wang uses model projections to assess the economic viability of clean energy technologies, forecast future deployment of the technologies, and estimate policy impacts on CO2 emissions. Her research also utilizes social science methods, such as survey, interview, and statistical analysis methods, to evaluate customer acceptance of emerging technologies, public support for alternative energy, and market barriers and policy solutions.

Dr. Amy Erica Smith is an associate professor of political science as well as a Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professor at Iowa State University. In the 2020-22 academic years, she is an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Her research examines citizenship, democracy, religion, and the environment, with a primary focus on Latin America, and especially Brazil. She is author of Religion and Brazilian Democracy: Mobilizing the People of God (2019, Cambridge University Press), as well as many articles in academic outlets and public media. 

Dr. Robert C. Brown is Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering and Gary and Donna Hoover Chair in Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University (ISU). He is the founding director of ISU’s Bioeconomy Institute and holds courtesy appointments in Chemical and Biological Engineering and Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering. His research interests include advanced biofuels, plastics upcycling, and carbon negative energy. Dr. Brown has written over 300 scientific papers and book chapters. He wrote Biorenewable Resources: Engineering New Products from Agriculture, widely used as a textbook around the world.

Dr. Craig Anderson is Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Iowa State University. His early work focused on attribution theory and social judgment processes. His most current work applies his General Aggression Model to climate change effects on violent behavior (ranging from violent crime, riots, terrorism, to international war) and to media effects on aggressive/violent behavior. In 2017, Dr. Anderson received the Kurt Lewin Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Psychological Issues, for "outstanding contributions to the development and integration of psychological research and social action." In 2018, Dr. Anderson received the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s Distinguished Scholar Award.