Satellite imagery of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon, courtesy of NASA.
Pope Francis' encyclical on climate change has galvanized many to a new level of awareness on the moral necessity of addressing the climate crisis. Laudato Si challenges the communities of science, ethics, justice, economics and religion to all imagine an integral ecology based upon compassion and environmental knowledge, energizing many in the environmental communities in ways that could have lasting impacts.
In recognition of this global leadership, we invite you to join musicians, artists, poets and scientists to share perspectives on a multifaceted and holistic path forward for our planet. This free, public gathering at The Cooper Union will bring together a range of voices to reflect on the significance of these writings and explore the role of values, ethics, science and spirit in addressing the challenges facing our common home.
— Urban Green Council (@UrbanGreenNY) March 18, 2016
This event is presented by Urban Green Council, Natural Resources Defense Council, International Center of Photography, The Poetry Society of America, Continuing Education and Public Programs of The Cooper Union, and The Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design.
Professor and Deputy Director, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University
Dr. Arthur Lerner-Lam is a seismologist with a focus on upper mantle structures. His recent work explores the physical and societal aftermath of earthquakes and other natural disasters—a reality that Dr. Lerner-Lam experienced firsthand at the border of the evacuation zone during Hurricane Sandy. He watched as the superstorm tore through Manhattan and left the city in shambles. Leading Columbia University’s Center for Hazards and Risk Research, Dr. Lerner-Lam cautions that “we have to stop thinking in terms of ‘100-year events.’ It’s not going to be another 100 years before we see another extreme storm such as Sandy.”
Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College
David Orr is the executive director of the Oberlin Project: a collaborative effort between the city of Oberlin, Ohio and Oberlin College to improve the resilience, prosperity, and sustainability of the community. Orr spearheaded the effort to build the Adam Joseph Lewis Center, the first college building in the U.S. to run entirely on solar power and purify all of its wastewater; the U.S. Department of Energy named it “one of 30 milestone buildings of the 20th century.” Echoing the sentiment of Pope Francis, Orr believes, “dramatic improvement in building efficiency is an important part of a much larger transition that must include equivalent gains in transportation, agriculture, urban design, and manufacturing.”
Mary Evelyn Tucker
Senior Lecturer and Research Scholar, Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Divinity School
Mary Evelyn Tucker teaches in a joint degree Master’s program and directs the Forum of Religion and Ecology at Yale. The Forum emerged from a series of conferences Tucker organized with her husband, John Grim, on World Religions and Ecology at Harvard, and is now the largest multi-religious project of its kind. She also created a multimedia project titled Journey of the Universe (segments of which can are available online). Tucker seeks to broaden the approach to sustainability by asking, “What might be the contributions of religion to the long-term flourishing of the Earth community?”
Distinguished poets, artists, musicians and writers, including: Jorie Graham, Andrew Sullivan, Scott Chaskey, Timothy Donnelly, Joy Harjo and others.