“Finding The Political Will To Reverse Climate Change”


Event details

Earth Day Speaker 2013 --

Acknowledging the trend of record breaking temperatures and extensive drought, Dr. Orr will address the urgency of our situation with thoughtful insights into the nature of humanity at the end of the cheap carbon age and the incredible opportunity we have to restructure our relationship with the earth and each other.

Dr. Orr's talk, “Finding the Political Will To Reverse Climate Change”, will give constructive ideas to get optimists pessimists the hopefuls and those not fully awake involved in building resiliency and political will. In this eloquent talk, he will discuss details of the Oberlin project, which involved people from diverse perspectives finding common vision and the will to put that vision into action. Many citizens in Lawrence are working towards a shift towards better bicycle transportation, more local farmers coupled with comprehensive local food systems, alternative energy generation, more energy conservation, and ways to feed and provide a safety net for those hit hardest by hard time. Dr Kelly Kindscher, KU Professor of Environmental Studies states, “I hope those working to transition Lawrence will join in the evening and beyond to create a working blueprint for the vision of a carbon neutral Lawrence.”

Dr. Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and Senior Adviser to the President, Oberlin College. He is the author of seven books, including Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse (Oxford, 2009), described by the late Thomas Berry as “powerful and prophetic” and by John Kerry as “a terrific book . . . nowhere is the challenge of our moment more clearly expressed.” He also has produced nearly 200 articles, reviews, book chapters, and professional publications. Recent projects include a two year $1.2 million collaborative project to define a 100 days climate action plan for the Obama administration (www.climateactionproject.com). Additionally, Dr. Orr is active in efforts to stop mountaintop removal in Appalachia and develop a new economy based on ecological restoration and wind energy. He is presently the Executive Director of the Oberlin Project, which is focused on making the City of Oberlin a model of full-spectrum sustainability and replicating that effort through a National Sustainable Communities Coalition.

Sponsored by KU Environs, KU Environmental Studies Program, KU Student Senate, School of Architecture, Urban Planning, IGERT program, and the KU Sustainability Center

Contact: Sarah Kraus | sarahkraus@ku.edu Kelly Kindscher | kindsche@ku.edu


doctordave77 5 years ago

What a deluded speaker. The desire to be politically correct has convinced Dr. Orr to speak on an issue without first understanding the basic facts;

"Global warming is caused by human society's generation of carbon dioxide" - NOT! 98% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes from natural sources, only 2% from human activities. And that 2% has been produced over a very long period, ever since man started burning wood and other substances for fires. Even if we measured the human contribution from the start of the industrial revolution (1750) then it's still 250 years+ that we've been producing it.

So the 2% has been created gradually over a long time, not just in the last 25-50 years, as most people think. Why would it have suddenly had an effect on temps over the last 10 years or so? If the global warming hypothesis is true, wouldn't we have been noticing gradually increasing temps throughout the 250+ years since we started producing carbon dioxide? Of course, we would. But we don't see that at all.

Instead, the history that we have shows the temperatures consistently varying from one period to another. That's completely inconsistent with the concept that human activity has caused something called global warming. Temps have been increasing over the last 10 years, but it's due to natural causes that are beyond our power to control, or even fully understand at the moment. It's nothing to do with carbon dioxide.


Seth Peterson 4 years, 11 months ago

Dave if you understood anything regarding ecosystems you would know that 2% is more than enough to make all the difference in the world. Less than 2% of genetic makeup separates man from chip; a temperature difference of 2% determines the speed at which water melts; 2% difference in rainfall can change a grassland to an arid desert.

A 2% difference in IQ can separate someone who argues with information, and one who responds to such argument with "NOT!".

smileydog 5 years, 1 month ago

I'm positive in a couple of months it will be reported that the earth is the hottest it's ever -even with the snow in May.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 10 months ago

I like how only the immediacy of your front yard dictates your perception of how things must be globally. This method of thinking is unfortunately prevalent in a number people's thought processes for a number of concepts, not just climate change.

Brian Laird 5 years, 1 month ago

And upon what scientific basis do you base this conclusion. Somehow 98% of climate scientists are wrong and you are right.

avarom 5 years ago

98% of the climate scientists are dictated what do write......to keep their jobs....no one wants to commit corporate suicide, people need to support their families......Don't be a Sheep, be the Sheeps Herder!


Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

Sorry, the anthropogenic climate global warming change thing still isn't very convincing. I have the will to not believe.

12) Were there glaciers in Kansas?

Glaciers moved into the northeastern tip of Kansas about 600,000 years ago, from roughly the Kansas River on the south to the Big Blue River on the west. These were massive walls of ice; geologists have estimated that the glacier was 500 feet thick where Lawrence is located today. In the time since glaciers were in northeastern Kansas, erosion has erased much of the evidence of their visit, but bright red and pink boulders of metamorphic rock, called Sioux Quartzite, were carried to Kansas by glaciers from regions as far north as Minnesota and are still found throughout the area.


Brian Laird 5 years, 1 month ago

I really don't see the relevance of this post. That glaciers were once in KS does not imply that anthropogenic climate change does not exist. Maybe you should explain further how your post is relevant.

Liberty275 5 years ago

Over and over and over the earth's climate has swung hot, then cold. It's happened for 6000 years according to god and for hundreds of millions according to scientific theories. Now, out of the blue, humans have the arrogance to think this time when the climate changed it was because of humans.

The Earth can and does change temperature without the aid of man and it has not been proven to my satisfaction that man is changing it now.

Maybe if someone could well enough explain why this change is different than every other time the climate has changed and glaciers have receded global warming might look like less of a fudge-factored scam and more like acceptable science.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 11 months ago

1) The reason for the change is the difference. 2) The fact that the next major climate change will be the first to affect us as a species, when we may have the ability to do something about it, or at the very least learning from it.

jayhawklawrence 5 years ago

You don't pump billions of tons of pollutants into the environment and then claim it has no effect.

People used to throw their trash out of the car window and the ditches were full of garbage. Then Lady Bird Johnson started her campaign to clean up America.

She said, "Where flowers bloom, so does hope."

The problem with global warming and other environmental problems is that we don't see it like trash in the ditch, but it is far bigger and more dangerous than anyone can imagine.

We can create new industries and new technologies and make this a far better world to live in. We just have to decide to make it happen.

It appears that the Republican Party is not in favor of this but they should be.

doctordave77 5 years ago

Most people are unaware of the facts about this issue. 98% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes from natural sources ... that's trees and plants, etc. Only 2% is from the entire time that man has "pumped billions of tons" blah, blah, blah. Only 2%.

Now think a littlle about our attempts to reduce the 2% - we may perhaps cut .1% over 10 years by stunting our economies and going into a global recession. And we don't even know if it will make a difference anyway. Since 98% comes from natural sources, I very much doubt that our 2% is responsible for any of the increase in temperatures that we see in the world today.

You know, back in the 1600's, the Thames in London use to freeze over in the winter - how about that for climate change. This is all occuring naturally.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

First of all, plants, do NOT produce carbon dioxide-- they consume it and produce oxygen. If you don't understand that basic fact, then you really are wholly ignorant about the topic of climate change/global warming.

Second, carbon injected into the atmosphere and oceans by humans comes from substances such as petroleum, coal and natural gas which were all created through the sequestration of carbon over many millions of years (by plants and bacteria,) during periods of time when atmospheric carbon was much greater. The current natural cycle, in the environment in which we live, the only environment we've ever known or ever will know, can't absorb all that de-sequestered carbon. Therefore, atmospheric carbon is increasing to levels not seen for thousands of years, and soon will be reaching levels not seen for millions of years, returning us to climate conditions that can't support human civilization as currently exists.

Them's the real facts.

Chris Golledge 4 years, 11 months ago

For a doctor, you are not very good at math. Humans are adding about 2% per year, and that amount has been increasing. Since the industrial revolution, we have added about 40% more to the atmosphere, and about 40% more to the oceans.

I think you will find a close correlation between those that have told you cutting back on fossil fuel use will be disastorous to the economy and those selling fossil fuels. Yes, cutting back on our use will be bad for their economy, but not everyone else's.

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