Climate change has been called a “wicked” problem because it involves the global economy, the failure of governments to take democratic action, and the tremendous inequality that exists in the world today. The keynote speakers at the 2014 Central Coast Bioneers Conference, however, are excited about the future and believe there is much cause for hope.
John Foran, a professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara will present “Toward a Just Climate Future” at 5:30 p.m. at the SLO Grange Hall on Friday October 24. He will be joined by Corrie Ellis and Summer Gray, two Ph.D. candidates in Sociology at UCSB. The trio has attended the U.N. Climate Conventions all over the world and is recently back from and will report on the People’s Climate March in New York City last month. Gray will premiere an abridged version of her new film “Not Yet the End of the World.”
Dr. Foran and Corrie Ellis were recently interviewed on the KCBX show Issues & Ideas about this issue. Foran has studied social movements on a global scale and is the author of “Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Present,” and “Taking Power: On the Origins of Third World Revolutions.” The three legs of this wicked problem “are all interconnected and climate change exacerbates them,” Foran explains. “Working on climate or any of these issues affects everything else in a positive way, so there is potential for synergistic changes on a transformational level.” Foran says that those involved in the climate movement are very excited about the possibilities of a better future. Ellis, an activist with 350.org and Research Associate with the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory was asked by Issues & Ideas host Marisa Waddel about her work on the Global Youth Climate Justice Movement and whether she feels there is any cause for hope. “As a young person,” she answered, “I can’t think of any other way to be. It’s our future and our life we’re talking about.”
The group will be introduced by Kathleen Karle of the SLO County Health Department, who is heading up OutsideIn SLO, the County’s program to educate the public about climate change issues.
Other speakers on climate change at the Central Coast Bioneers Conference include National Bioneers keynote Naomi Klein, and two National Bioneers youth speakers Chloe Maxmin and Arielle Klagsbrun.