Monday, April 19, 2010
Lester Brown was invited to participate on an Earth Day-themed panel discussion on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC with director James Cameron, actress Sigourney Weaver, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, columnist Tom Friedman, radio host Richard Greene, and other figures on Thursday, April 15 to discuss the urgency of climate change action. Participants were also treated to a private screening of Cameron’s blockbuster 3-D movie Avatar. (Read the Washington Post article on the event.)
As many of you may already know, Avatar is a science fiction movie set in the year 2154. The main conflict concerns a rare precious mineral called "unobtanium," something highly valued by humans. As Sanho Tree, a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, notes in his review of the movie, “Unobtanium serves as a generic placeholder for the commodities we extract from native lands: oil, gold, silver, lumber, pasture or any other thing of value according to market forces. How much unobtanium is enough? … no amount can satiate modern society's never-ending desires.”
Cameron said this movie about the environment is "meant to be a call to action" and "a warning of what's happening.”
To our surprise, during the panel Cameron announced to the 300-plus audience that he had read Lester’s book Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization not just once but four times. He said it was the best big picture summary of what is going on with the environment and on what we can do to save civilization. He personally told Lester the same thing when the two met for the first time.
Sigourney Weaver introduced herself to Lester, saying how much she admired his work. Lester was delighted to meet both Cameron and Weaver and to speak with them about the current state of the environment and the need to move forward with solutions.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) was another public figure that came out to support this panel. The main reason, he said when he introduced himself to Lester, was to meet Lester in person as he was a great follower of Lester's work.
We value this kind of support, and hope it can turn into actions that will ensure a livable planet for us all.
Meanwhile, this week we celebrate Earth Day. Lester will be giving talks in the Washington, DC area. If you’re close by, check out the presentations.
* April 20: 6:30-9:30 pm Earth day speaker at Georgetown University, Hariri Lohr Auditorium
* April 22: 8:00-9:30 pm Earth Day speaker at American University, Ward Building, Room 1
And if you aren’t in the DC area, remember to check out the great Earth Day events around your area at the Earth Day website.
Reah Janise Kauffman
P.S. If the Icelandic volcano permits, Lester will soon be embarking on a 5-week book tour in Europe and Asia, even touching down briefly in the United States. See our Events page for details, which will be updated in the coming weeks.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Earth Day will be celebrated all over the country next week and Lester Brown will participate with a couple of presentations in the Washington, DC area. The first will be an evening presentation at Georgetown University on April 20 followed by one at American University on Earth Day (April 22). (See Events.)
This will be the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, started in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in. Since then Earth Day has grown under the guidance of Denis Hayes, who was selected by then-Senator Nelson's staff to organize the first Earth Day, which has now become the world’s most widely observed secular holiday. More than just one day, it is a weeklong global teach-in promoting awareness of climate change, renewable energy, a green economy, pollution, and much more. Earth Day is planning a big event on the National Mall on Sunday, April 25 from 12 noon to 7 pm: music, inspired speakers, and more.
The Earth Day Network now circles the earth with its 20,000 NGO partners in 192 countries. Check out their website for events and activities near your location. Highlights of some of this year’s global events and outreach include:
• Large city events on almost every continent including New York; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rabat, Morocco; Tokyo, Japan; and the Philippines.
• The National Mall flagship rally in Washington, DC on Sunday, April 25th will include a call to action on climate, performances, and an Eco-Village of the future.
• Sir Richard Branson’s organization, the Carbon War Room, is convening a two-day conference of high level entrepreneurs on April 21st and 22nd which will create a roadmap for a new green economy, renewable energy and innovation for the next century.
• 500 mayors are expected to participate in a Global Day of Conversation on Earth Day, April 22nd, convening their citizens to discuss climate change and sustainability.
Support the Earth Day events in your area.
For us at the Earth Policy Institute, the goal is for Earth Day to become a daily celebration, enlivened with a stewardship consciousness of Earth and its remarkable natural resources and life. This is why we offer a plan for saving civilization and the earth. It is, after all, the only home we have.
Reah Janise Kauffman
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