Starbucks Shops Hosting Global Warming Discussions

By Nathan Burchfiel | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

( - Starbucks coffee shops on Wednesday are hosting discussions on climate change with hopes of inspiring "community conversations about the vital issue" and to promote a new movie about global warming.

The "National Day of Discussion" will "raise awareness about climate change and facilitate conversations on solutions to positively affect the environment," according to the Starbucks Web site.

Coffee shops in more than 60 U.S. cities are hosting the discussions in partnership with several environmentalist groups, including the Earth Day Network and Global Green USA. The sponsors hope to "host an engaging dialogue and help people collectively develop solutions that they can use in their communities and daily lives."

They also hope to promote "Arctic Tale," a new film from National Geographic and Paramount Classics, the studio that distributed former Vice President Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."

The new movie follows a polar bear named Nanu and a walrus named Seela as they grow up in the Arctic. "Once a perpetual winter wonderland of snow and ice, the walrus and the polar bear are losing their beautiful icebound world as it melts from underneath them," according to the movie's Web site.

"We're really proud to share this powerful and entertaining story with our customers," Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment, said in a statement about the movie.

"Starbucks has a long and significant commitment to communities and the environment, and by highlighting 'Arctic Tale' to our customers, we can spark discussion on this issue and impact change from right inside our stores."

Lombard's statement highlighted Starbucks' efforts to fight the "climate crisis" by purchasing renewable energy, conserving energy and increasing public awareness.

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