CLIMATE TALK #4: UTOPIA or OBLIVION
Global solutions to a global crisis: climate justice & the science of viability
Date: April 7, 2011 @ 2:30 pm
Location: First Floor Lounge, Falvey Memorial Library

What if the only viable choice for our future were between achieving a collaborative, open and democratic ideal or undergoing the collapse of our global civilization? In the 1960s, architect and philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller warned that we had become advanced enough to set ourselves up with that very choice: Utopia or Oblivion…

For the third ClimateTalks roundtable event of the academic year, two faculty members will present advanced analysis of the climate crisis, from the historical, ethical and scientific points of view, and we will moderate a policy debate among students working on environmental issues.

The discussion will be framed by Buckminster Fuller’s admonition that our advanced industrial civilization was reaching a point where the choice between Utopia and Oblivion was not only a possible eventuality, but a likely outcome of hyper-advanced “world-around” communications technologies, transit, and commercial and political structures.

If we are in fact facing the need to provide water for 7 billion people, to secure the food supply against unprecedented stresses and a destabilized climate, if our routine consumption of basic resources is undermining the future sustainability of our civilization, what can we do?

We will examine key related questions and challengs and propose some ideas for how humanity can move forward in the midst of this complex crisis.

Written by Joseph Robertson

Joseph is Global Strategy Director for the non-partisan non-profit Citizens' Climate Lobby. He coordinates the building of CCL's citizen engagement groups on 5 continents, leads the Citizens' Climate Engagement Network and represents CCL in the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, UNFCCC negotiations, and other UN processes. He is a member of the Executive Board of the UN-linked NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY and of the Policy and Strategy Group for the World We Want. He is also the founder of Geoversiv.net and the Geoversiv Foundation and the lead strategist supporting the high-level climate dialogue series Accelerating Progress, Advancing Innovation.

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