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University of Iowa News Release


April 27, 2007

Effects Of Climate Change Explored In Documentary May 5

The comprehensive effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, species extinctions and increased drought, will be explored in the documentary film "The Planet" at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5 in Macbride Hall Auditorium. The University of Iowa Center for Human Rights (UICHR) and the UI Museum of Natural History are sponsoring the film screening, which is free and open to the public.

According to Burns Weston, UICHR interim director, the film explores the relationship humans have with Earth and the many problems presented by economic growth, decreasing biodiversity, population expansion, inequitable distribution of resources and global warming.

"The science that climate change exists is unambiguous, and it is due in large part to human activity that has increased carbon and methane emissions," Weston said. "As environmental changes grow in severity, human rights to health, economic security and more are increasingly at risk, especially in the world's poorer nations. We can act to mitigate these harms if we can muster the broad political will that such action requires."

Produced last year in Sweden and directed by Johan Soderberg and Michael Stenberg, "The Planet" features commentary in English by leading experts from around the world in the field of environmental science and global political economy.

For additional information on climate change and human rights, visit the UICHR Web site at

Founded in 1999, the UICHR is a direct outgrowth of Global Focus: Human Rights '98, the yearlong UI commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of Dec. 10, 1948. Initiated by a multidisciplinary group of faculty, the center's mission is to support the promotion and protection of human rights at home and abroad by providing leadership in human rights research, education, and public service to the UI, its surrounding community, the state of Iowa and beyond. Recently the center embarked on a new collaborative research project known as the Climate Legacy Initiative, exploring the rights of present and future generations to protection from climate change harms.

The UI Museum of Natural History, established in 1858, serves the academic and public communities with exhibits, research collections and special outreach programs. Approximately 30,000 people visit the museum annually. No admission or membership fees are required. For more information, visit

The UICHR is part of International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

For more information or special accommodations to attend this event, call Liz Crooks at 319-335-3900 or visit

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Joe Nugent, 319-335-2026,; Program: Amy Weismann, 319-335-0483,; Writer: Joe Nugent.