CHARLESTON, W.Va. –– A forum at the University of Charleston on Tuesday night aims to provide insight about aspects of global warming.

Spilman, Thomas, and Battle law firm is sponsoring the forum which will bring together four leading voices in the ongoing climate change debate.

Speaking a the forum will be Dr. Michael E. Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, David W. Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk, Patrick Moore, former president of Greenpeace Canada and Judith Curry, former chairwoman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“We’ve actually presented them with two questions,” said attorney Nick Preservati, who will serve as moderator of the forum. Preservati was a guest Monday on MetroNews’ “Talkline.”

“The first question is ‘To what extent does the science show man-made CO2 is affecting climate change?’ The second question is, ‘Based upon your first answer, what mitigation is needed to offset those changes?'”

The second question rarely gets asked when the climate change debate is happening, according to Preservati. He added this event will not be a debate, but a forum in which ideas, theories, and all available information is presented in an educational way.

“We don’t want people going at each other; we think that’s counter-productive,” he said. “We are going to have 15 minutes of each individual to present their side.”

It’s familiar territory for Preservati, who deals with such questions almost daily as an attorney who specializes in energy law and matters surrounding the energy industry.

The ground rules of the forum do allow for some follow up questions and questioning of each other, but Preservati was emphatic it would not devolve into partisan bickering. He added West Virginia with its deep ties to the energy industry and the work of nationally and world renown environmentalists being recognized here provided the perfect venue for such an event.

“I don’t think there’s a place on earth that has a greater impact or is ground zero for this debate than West Virginia,” he said.

The forum starts at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at the Geary Auditorium on the campus of the University of Charleston. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door or in advance at the Spilman, Thomas, and Battle website.

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