Former science advisor to NC governor holds sustainability seminar at ASU

Michelle Pierce

Robert Bruck visited Appalachian State University to speak at a seminar about global climate change Thursday in Grandfather Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union.

Bruck is a professor in North Carolina State University’s Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources and former science adviser to the governor of North Carolina.

Laura England, director of Appalachian’s Sustainable Development Program and former student of Bruck’s, invited him to hold the seminar.

“There has been a latent interest in sustainability among students on campus,” England said. “So I asked if Dr. Bruck if he could share his energy and expertise to the town of Boone.”

Bruck said he agreed because he believes that Appalachian has the best and most organized sustainability program in the state of North Carolina.

“I tell everyone, including my own daughter, to go to App,” Bruck said.

Bruck also spoke of the benefits and problems posed by the greenhouse effect and the broken interface between science and common knowledge among people.

“I once spoke to a pilot who believed that, at night, all the pollution from the day floated away to the stars.”

After his seminar was over, students, faculty and townspeople stayed to thank and question Bruck. Before departing, he offered advise to those who wanted to know how to persuade government officials to help save the planet.

His advice was not to be passive by throwing petitions in their face, but use non-violent, direct action. Bruck himself had been arrested several times for civil resistance.

“My hope is to educate the people who are going to be changing the world,” Bruck said. “I’m not going to be alive in 2060, but you will.”

Story: MICHELLE PIERCE, Intern News Reporter