It is impossible to track the parade of headlines warning of the accelerating destruction of the earth’s various life-support systems and not—at least on occasion—succumb to despair.
Jørgen Randers cowrote “Limits to Growth” (pdf) back in 1972 only to witness his doomsday predictions materialize before his eyes year by year. Unsurprising that he now stews in that bleak, black humor.
“It is cost-effective to postpone global climate action,” he wrote recently. “It is profitable to let the world go to hell.”
So why can’t we let go?
Climate change has become shorthand for discussing the collapse of the earth’s support systems, biologic and geologic processes that have made humanity’s rise (along with our many related families) possible.
It’s not “just” climate change bearing down on us. Other so-called planetary boundaries are being punctured as well—everything from the human-driven mass extinction underway (the most rapid since the dinosaurs fell) to the upending of the earth’s nitrogen and phosphorus cycles tied to industrial agriculture and the destruction of global forests.
Yet our challenge is to do more than protest, to object however loudly, and spit suffering statistics day after day. The unimaginable challenge of the moment is to transcend it.
No sweat, right?
On February 5, San Antonians are being invited to exercise their creative imaginations to seek out the beautiful that is intangible (but manifest all the same) inside this moment of immense uncertainty.
Author, philosopher, and celebrated advocate of our living earth, Kathleen Dean Moore, comes to share the message, “On the Eighth Day, Transformation without Apocalypse” at Trinity University.
The event description reads:
Standing on the cliff edge of climate chaos, our work is to find a new path toward a radically re-imagined understanding of who we are in the world and how we ought to live. What new narratives point the way? What blocks the path? Where do we find the courage and the hope? How will we make ourselves worthy of the dreams of our descendants? Author Kathleen Dean Moore, our guest lecturer from Oregon, will offer her perspectives on climate change and why changes in society and lifestyle are so important to everyone.
Kathleen Dean Moore, co-editor of a collection of powerful essays, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, will be here and speaking on Thursday evening at Trinity Holt Center, and leading/teaching the writing workshop on Friday morning which includes a box lunch. Our co-sponsors have made all this possible with their donations. Scholarships on request are available for the writing workshop, just send requests to Lucy Burton, email@example.com or call 210-732-9927 to register for both events.
KathleenDeanMoore Lecture Writing Wkshp Feb 2015 (pdf flyer)
- On the Eighth Day, Transformation without Apocalypse
- Kathleen Dean Moore
- Lecture at Trinity University, Holt Center, 106 Oakmont Court, 78212.
- Thursday, February 5. Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
- Register at SoL Center by Jan. 29, space is limited. No charge. Parking at University Presbyterian Church, 300 Bushnell Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212, @Shook
After you’ve gotten hopped up on all that hope, consider attending her writing workshop the following day:
- Nature Writing in the Time of Storms
- Workshop led by Kathleen Dean Moore
- Friday, February 6. Time: 9 a.m. – 12 noon. Location: SoL Center at UPC
- $25 includes box lunch and refreshments.
- Register by Jan. 29.
- Enrollment: 12 min./25 max. Participants in the writing workshop should attend the Thursday night opening lecture, and make reservations for both the lecture and workshop in advance.
Description: For centuries, the nature essay has celebrated the green and singing world. Now, as shifting storms threaten the deep forests and wild night cries, the nature essay stands as a witness to what we love too much to lose. What is the power of the nature essay in these times? What is the “trick” to writing a good essay? What is the key to the pleasure of reading it? What can the osprey, hunting over water, teach us about what it means to watch and to wonder? This is a workshop for writers of all levels of experience.
About the Instructor: Kathleen Dean Moore is an essayist, philosopher, and environmental advocate. She is Distinguished Professor of Environmental Philosophy Emerita at Oregon State University, and the author or co-editor of award-winning books including her most recent, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril.This volume, published by Trinity University Press, gathers testimony from the world’s moral leaders about our responsibility to protect the future from catastrophic climate change. Moore is founder and Senior Fellow of the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature, and the Written Word. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon. For more, visit www.riverwalking.com.
This event is made possible in cooperation with the following co-sponsors: Whole Earth Provision Co., San Antonio River Authority, Darby Riley Law Firm, peaceCenter of San Antonio, San Antonio Interfaith Power and Light, Headwaters at Incarnate Word, Episcopal Church of Reconciliation, Bexar Audubon Society, and Mobi Warren of 350SanAntonio.org.