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    <ong>Carleton community joins most widespread day of climate action in history

    The concerns and values of the Carleton students, faculty, and staff regarding climate change will be on display as a photo petition on Saturday, Oct. 24. 350 pictures will be displayed around the center of campus, with pictures of the Carleton community and their message to the Copenhagen climate negotiations. The event—one of more than 2,000 gatherings in more than 140 nations—is coordinated by to urge world leaders to take fast and effective action on global warming. This is the first global campaign ever organized around a scientific data point: 350 parts per million CO2 is the safe upper limit for the atmosphere according to the latest scientific data.

    Simultaneously, people in every corner of the world will be taking similar action, from climbers with 350 banners high on the melting slopes of Mount Everest to government officials in the Maldive Islands holding an underwater cabinet meeting to demand action on climate change before their nation disappears.

    Founded by author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, is the first large-scale grassroots global campaign against climate change. Its supporters include leading scientists, the governments of 89 countries, and a huge variety of environmental, health, development and religious NGOs. All agree that current atmospheric levels of co2—390 parts per million—are causing damage to the planet and to its most vulnerable people, and that government action at the Copenhagen climate conference is required to bring the earth’s carbon level swiftly down.

    Carleton alumnus and author to address ‘invented’ languages

    Arika Okrent, critically acclaimed author and member of the Carleton College Class of 1992, will present “MAN VS. LANGUAGE! LANGAUGE WINS!: How Language Inventors Turned the Enemy Into a Muse” on Wednesday, Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m. in the College’s Language and Dining Center, room 104, followed by a reception with refreshments. Okrent’s lecture will cover topics from her recently published book In the Land of Invented Languages: Esperanto Rock Stars, Klingon Poets, Loglan Lovers and the Mad Dreamers Who Tried to Build a Perfect Language (Spiegel & Grau, 2009). Drawing on invented languages like the Klingon jargon of Star Trek and the international speech of Esperanto, Okrent analyzes the themes and shortcomings of 900 years of man’s quest to design a better language. Okrent’s appearance is free and open to the public.

    As a linguistics major and graduate of the Carleton College Class of 1992, Okrent was drawn to language at a very young age. She earned an M.A. in Linguistics at Gallaudet, the world’s only university for the deaf, and began a Ph.D. program at the University of Chicago. She developed a fascination with psycholinguistics and worked in gesture and brain research labs before earning a joint degree in the Department of Linguistics and Department of Psychology’s Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program in 2004. During this time, Okrent focused her linguistic affinity on the art and history of invented languages, which eventually inspired the creation of In the Land of Invented Languages. This critically acclaimed history of artificial language has been deemed “a must-have on the shelves of all world freaks, grammar geeks, and plain old language lovers.”

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