Environmental Affairs Symposium 2007

October 2-4, 2007
Lewis & Clark College

Contemporary environmental discourse is dominated by talk of crises. When it comes to problems like toxic waste, species extinctions, and global warming, many people ask, “What can we do, and where do we begin?”

Unfortunately, these important questions often seem unanswerable because of the abstract and disconnected way we speak about environmental crises. To find answers, we may need to situate a crisis in particular places. Doing this lets us see how biophysical, historical, political, and cultural factors shape both the reality and the perception of the impending disaster. Perhaps after we have situated an environmental crisis, we will better understand what we can do about it.

Tuesday, October 2

Panel Session: Situating Environmentalism

4:00 PM, Templeton Student Center

What is an environmentalist these days? The so-called environmental movement takes different forms across the globe. Join keynote speaker Ramachandra Guha, an expert on environmental movements around the world, and Portland community members who do environmental work to discuss what makes an environmentalist.

Keynote Address: Crisis and Sustainability: Lessons from the Environmental Movement in India

7:00 PM, Templeton Student Center

Dr. Ramachandra Guha, Freelance Writer & Historian, Banagalore, India

Wednesday, October 3

Panel Session: Situating Environmental Science

4:00 PM, Templeton Student Center

How has environmental science created, promoted, or denounced mainstream and academic notions of crisis? Join keynote speaker Naomi Oreskes, professor of history and science studies, as well as experts from the Portland community to discuss the role of environmental science in framing crisis.

Keynote Address: Moving Beyond Crisis: Toward Sustainable Knowledge”

7:00 PM, Agnes Flanagan Chapel

Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History and Science Studies, University of California, San Diego

Thursday, October 4

Workshop: Strategies for Sustainability

4:00 PM, Albany Quadrangle, Smith Hall

Where do we go from here? Join us while student facilitators work with breakout groups to forge new narratives and plan new strategies of addressing crisis. Dr. Guha, Dr. Oreskes, and discussion panelists will be in attendance and respond to breakout group presentations.

For more information on the Symposium, please contact the Environmental Studies Program at (503) 768-7719 or envs@lclark.edu

2007 Symposium Readings

Ronald Bailey “Ecoscam: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse

T. Coraghessan Boyle “A Friend of the Earth

Ramachandra Guha “How Much Should a Person Consume?

Stephen Haller “Apocalypse Soon? Wagering on Warnings of Global Catastrophe

Naomi Oreskes “The Long Consensus on Climate Change

Naomi Oreskes “How Do We Know We’re Not Wrong?

2007 Symposium Media

Podcast of Ramachandra Guha’s keynote address

Podcast of Naomi Oreskes’ keynote address

Images from the Symposium

Download the official Symposium poster