April 22nd marks Earth Day, and this year’s theme is “Restore Our Earth™.” As the world turns to climate action, consider these speakers who discuss environmental issues and sustainability with powerful clarity and offer concrete suggestions for creating a viable planet.
Suzanne Simard is a Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia and the leader of The Mother Tree Project, which researches forest renewal practices that will protect biodiversity against climate change. She has a global reputation as a research pioneer on tree connectivity and communication. Her upcoming book, Finding the Mother Tree (May 2021), brings us into the intimate world of trees, illuminating incredible truths about their complicated, social, interdependent relationships. Dr. Simard delivers powerful lectures about the fascinating interconnectedness of trees and her revolutionary work on The Mother Tree Project. She also emboldens women of all ages to pursue STEM careers, highlights the crucial role forests play in combatting climate change, and emphasizes the importance of appreciating our natural world.
Bina Venkataraman is a former journalist and Senior Advisor for Climate Change Innovation under the Obama Administration, a role in which she worked to forge partnerships across communities, companies, and the government to prepare for climate change disasters. Her book, The Optimist’s Telescope, explores the ways that we can plan better for the future in a time where it’s easy to move forward without thinking, highlighting examples throughout history and drawing from research in biology, psychology, and economics. Her talks urge listeners to replace a “legacy building” approach to the future with “heirloom thinking” to improve their ability to make long-term decisions.
As a young fisherman, Bren Smith found himself troubled by the destruction of the commercial trawlers he worked on left behind on the ocean floor. In response, he pioneered a technique called 3D ocean farming, taking a revolutionary approach to growing seafood in a way that absorbs carbon, acts as storm surge protection, and restores water quality while creating food and employment for the surrounding community. In his talks, he shares his story of ecological redemption and provides a ray of hope in the current environmental discourse with his compelling solutions to climate change.
Paul Greenberg is the James Beard award-winning author of the New York Times-bestselling books Four Fish and American Catch. His most recent book, The Climate Diet, offers fifty straightforward, achievable steps we can take to live our daily lives in a way that’s friendlier to the planet–ranging from what we eat, how we live at home, how we travel, and how we lobby businesses and elected officials to do the right thing. Greenberg lectures widely on ocean sustainability, the culinary history of fish and shellfish and the many complex health issues surrounding seafood consumption.
David Allen Sibley is the world’s leading ornithologist and bird illustrator. His ongoing efforts to understand birds have led him to write and illustrate the celebrated Sibley Guides series. Sibley’s latest book, What It’s Like to Be a Bird, is the bird book for birders and nonbirders alike that excites and inspires by providing a new and deeper understanding of what birds do–and why. His beloved Sketch with Sibley video series instructs audiences on to draw various birds and all their fascinating features. Sibley’s inventive presentations include inspired lectures, illustration workshops, and endless opportunities for audiences to open their minds and eyes to the world around them.
Critically acclaimed writer and artist Lauren Redniss is one of the most innovative literary talents of our time. The author of three acclaimed books, including National Book Award finalist Radioactive, Redniss’s marriage of journalism, history, science, and visual arts has “expanded the realm of non-fiction.” Her most recent book, Oak Flat, is powerful visual work about three generations of an Apache family struggling to protect sacred land from a multinational mining corporation. Oak Flat was named one of the best books of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews. Redniss’s talks describe how she transforms her intensive, globe-spanning research into spellbinding visual art.