Living in a World of Limits: Spring 2013 Clarke Forum Sustainability Series
Addressing the Most Critical Challenges of the 21st Century
Improving the human condition, equitably, sustainably and within limits that protect the natural environment, is perhaps the critical challenge of the 21st century. The Clarke Forum and the Center for Sustainability Education (CSE) will host this seminar series that in Spring 2013 that will explore this challenge from multiple perspectives that span and integrate the arts and humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, with a goal of informing the continued infusion of sustainability across the Dickinson curriculum. Topics will range from the local to the global and include practical models for building sustainable communities, social, environmental and health effects of developing natural gas in Pennsylvania and Mozambique, social movements to combat global climate change, and interpreting and responding to planetary boundaries.
The seminar series will be comprised of a Dickinson faculty study group, the Baird Honors Colloquium for students, classroom visits and public events for a series of high profile visiting speakers. This series will demonstrate Dickinson's commitment to global sustainability through the interdisciplinary liberal arts lens.
The following events are open to the public. Follow each link for speaker biographies and more information.
Michael Shellenberger, Love Your Monsters: Why Technology will Save the World- January 29, 2013 | 7:00 pm | Stern Great Room
Shellenberger is President of the Breakthrough Institute, a "a paradigm-shifting think tank committed to modernizing liberal thought for the 21st century" that seeks to "accelerate the transition to a future where all the world's inhabitants can enjoy secure, free and prosperous lives on an ecologically vibrant planet." He is co-author with Ted Nordhaus of the 2007 book Break Through and an essay "The death of environmentalism" that sparked a national debate. In this public lecture, Shellenberger will describe why technology is the key to dealing with the world's toughest environmental problems, from climate change to rainforest destruction to species extinction.
Peter Bechtel '81 & Ruth Mkhwanazi-Bechtel, Sustainable Development in Mozambique- February 27, 2013 | 7:00 pm | Stern Great Room
Peter Bechtel, an '81 Dickinson graduate, worked with the World Wildlife Fund in Mozambique on environmental resource management and wildlife conservation strategies that integrate livelihoods of local peoples. He is now consulting on how Mozambique can develop its natural gas reserves in responsible and sustainable ways. Ruth, his wife, works on community development, women and gender issues, and public health, and how they relate to natural resource use and development. They will share the story of how Mozambique has been near the bottom of the UN Human Development Index, but recent discoveries of gas, coal, and mineral deposits have created opportunities for rapid economic development.
Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Extraction Panel- March 5, 2013 | 7:oo pm | Stern Great Room
An interactive panel discussion to explore social dimensions, community concerns, environmental impacts and policy issues associated with natural resource development in Pennsylvania and Mozambique. The panel will include Peter Bechtel '81 (Independent Consultant, Andorinha Azul Ambiental), Tim Kelsey (Penn State University), Veronica Coptis (Mountain Watershed Association), and Erika Staaf (PennEnvironment). The panel will be moderated by Julie Vastine, Director of ALLARM at Dickinson College.
David Orr, Designing Resilience in a Black Swan World- March 27, 2013 | 7:00 pm | ATS Auditorium
Orr, the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College, has published a number of widely read books on humans' relation with nature, including Hope is an Imperative, Down to the Wire, Ecological Literacy and Earth in Mind. Orr is one of the organizers of The Oberlin Project, a 'full-spectrum' sustainable development project that is a partnership among the town of Oberlin, Ohio, Oberlin College and others.
Black Swan events are those with low or unknown probability, but high and long-lived and often global impacts. They affect financial markets, climate, public safety, and human health and more. This public lecture is about how we begin to design communities, regions, and nations to improve resilience and prosperity. We will examine one case study, the Oberlin Project, and the National Sustainable Communities Coalition.
Bill McKibben, Front Line of the Climate Change Fight- April 11, 2013 | 7:00 pm | ATS Auditorium
McKibben, the Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College, is the author of a dozen books about the environment, including The End of Nature, Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future, and Hope, Human and Wild. McKibben is the first recipient of the Rose-Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism. During his public lecture, McKibben will talk about the 350.org campaign for divestment from fossil fuels, the science behind the fight, and the evolving politics.
For more information contact:
Neil Leary, Director
Center for Sustainability Education