This year, as we prepare to celebrate Earth Day and its aptly-titled theme, “Restore Our Earth” on April 22nd, it’s especially important to remember the role we play in reducing climate change and creating a more viable planet. These speakers discuss environmental issues and sustainability with sharp focus, providing the tools to secure a cleaner and healthier Earth for generations to come.
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.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Edward Humes is the author of Garbology, an eye-opening examination of America’s environmental crisis. Humes explains how our eagerness to embrace the disposable has created an unprecedented amount of garbage, one that we are unprepared and unable to manage. His most recent book, Door to Door, deftly examines the history of transportation and the important issues and questions our “have-it-now” economy has on our world and its future. In talks that draw connections between our surplus of waste and pressing issues of the day such as the economy and national security, Humes shows how one person’s actions can impact the planet’s health, and just how simple that change can be.
“Living green” is a commonly cited solution to our environmental ills, but what does it really entail? New Yorker staff writer and sustainability expert David Owen redefines what it means to live sustainably, shedding light on the impact of everything from hybrid cars to compact fluorescent lightbulbs. Informed by the research conducted in writing his acclaimed books, Green Metropolis, The Conundrum, and Where the Water Goes, Owen debunks myths and presents actionable ways to live alongside the environment.
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.
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