At Oregon State, a Three Cultures Summit on Climate Change
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
I'm blogging from Chicago's O'Hare airport, on my way to Portland to participate in a unique summit bringing together philosophers, scientists, social scientists, poets, filmmakers, and artists to consider new strategies for shifting the popular zeitgeist on sustainability and climate change. The workshop is sponsored by the Spring Creek Project at Oregon State. I hope to have more to report later, but for now, participants are asked to consider the following questions.
For readers, how would you answer these questions?
MAIN QUESTION: Let's jump ahead to 2020 and imagine that, in just a decade, a great cultural shift toward a truly ecological culture has occurred. Individuals and institutions have embraced genuine, long-term sustainability. Values and lifestyles have dramatically changed; the technology is coming around. How do you think that came about?
For the scientists: What are some of the factors that make it difficult for scientists alone to inspire social and cultural change in response to climate change? Who are the important allies?
For the humanists: What are some of the factors that make it difficult for writers/philosophers/etc. alone to inspire social and cultural change in response to climate change? Who are the important allies?
Can technological advances and economic incentives avert the worst effects of climate change? What else is required?
What can scientists and humanists do together that neither can do alone?
What can the arts (what must the arts) contribute to the great social changes that must be made?
The controversy around the Torah codes gets a new life.
- Mathematicians claim to see a predictive pattern in the ancient Torah texts.
- The code is revealed by a method found with special computer software.
- Some events described by reading the code took place after the code was written.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Orangutans join humans and bees in a very exclusive club
- Orangutan mothers wait to sound a danger alarm to avoid tipping off predators to their location
- It took a couple of researchers crawling around the Sumatran jungle to discover the phenomenon
- This ability may come from a common ancestor
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