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News Release 11-149

The Weather Channel to Air "Changing Planet" Town Hall Meeting July 26th at 9 P.M. EDT

Town hall, underwritten by the National Science Foundation, focuses on clean energy and green jobs

Graphic of "Changing Planet" logo over smaller NBC Learn and NSF logos.

Anne Thompson of NBC News moderates the "Changing Planet" town hall meeting.
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July 21, 2011

"Changing Planet: Clean Energy, Green Jobs, and Global Competition," one of a series of town hall meetings on the impact of climate change, will air Tuesday at 9 p.m. EDT on The Weather Channel.

NBC News Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent Anne Thompson moderated the event hosted at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on April 12.

"Today's technology allows us to think about new energy options that impact the planet less and help the economy more," said Thompson. "It is critical that we have these important discussions about how clean energy and the economy can go hand in hand, in order to bring the best solutions to the spotlight."

The town hall meeting is the second in a three-part series produced under a partnership between NBC Learn--the educational arm of NBC News, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Discover magazine.

This "Changing Planet" event explored the relationship between clean energy, green jobs and global competition. The event brought together more than 100 students and featured four leading experts from the science and business communities: Chris Busch, director of policy and program at Apollo Alliance in San Francisco; Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, chief executive officer of Green For All in Oakland; Timothy Juliani, director of corporate engagement at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change in Arlington, Va. and Ken Zweibel, director at the GW Solar Institute in Washington, D.C.

The "Changing Planet" town halls promote learning and open a dialogue about climate change by gathering scientists, thought leaders, business representatives and university students to discuss the facts of climate science, understand their implications, brainstorm solutions and get involved in real research through citizen science projects.

"Changing Planet" asks viewers to visit, a citizen-science based website that encourages people to learn about, participate in, and contribute to science through both informal recreational activities and formal research efforts. The website's goal is to bring together the world's citizen scientists with thousands of potential projects offered by researchers, organizations and companies; and provide resources, products and services that enable citizens to pursue and enjoy scientific activities.

The program will re-air on The Weather Channel on Tuesday, July 26 at 11 p.m. and Wednesday at 3 a.m. EDT. In addition, it will re-air on Sunday, July 31 at 6 p.m. EDT, and will be available for viewing online on and In addition, a special print adaptation of "Changing Planet" will appear in the September 2011 issue of Discover magazine, available on August 9.

Yale University hosted the first "Changing Planet" town hall meeting in January 2011. NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw moderated the event. The final town hall will be held at Arizona State University on August 25, 2011.

The "Changing Planet" series is taped before a live audience at each university, produced by NBC Learn and underwritten by NSF in cooperation with Discover magazine.

In addition to the "Changing Planet" town halls, NBC Learn and NSF are working together to produce a series of 17 video reports on the impact of climate change in various locations around the world. From Bermuda's tropical seas to the Arctic Ocean, each story follows scientists in the field who are studying the dramatic impacts of rising temperatures in the air, in the water and on land. Anne Thompson narrates the series.

Each report is designed for use in the classroom and includes a lesson plan that correlates to state standards, created by the "Windows to the Universe" project team at the National Earth Science Teachers Association, led by Dr. Roberta Johnson. The videos are available on, and, and are available for widespread broadcast and digital distribution.

Titles released so far in the "Changing Planet" series include:

  1. Fresh Water in the Arctic
  2. Lake Temperatures
  3. Withering Crops
  4. Ocean Temperatures
  5. Adaptation of Species
  6. Melting Glaciers
  7. Black Carbon
  8. Ocean Acidification
  9. Coral Reefs
  10. Melting Permafrost
  11. Rising Sea Levels
  12. Infectious Diseases


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485,
Meghan Pianta, NBC News, (212) 664-2364,

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2017, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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Photo of a house in inner-City Buffalo being restored by good-paying green jobs.
A house in inner-City Buffalo being restored by good-paying green jobs.
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Photo of the Waterford 3 Nuclear Power plant in Louisiana.
Panelists at the Changing Planet Town Hall discuss the importance of nuclear power.
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