"Democracy (4.0) In a Hotter Time: Climate Change and Democratic Transformation"
A Zoom Conversation with David Orr, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies & Politics
David Orr will discuss the dual crises of democracy and climate change as one interrelated threat to the human future. His presentation will be based on Democracy in a Hotter Time, a just published book he edited that calls for reforming democratic institutions as a prerequisite for avoiding climate chaos, and adapting governance to how Earth works as a physical system. The collection of essays proposes a new political order that will not only help humanity survive, but also enable us to thrive in the transition to a post-fossil fuel world. David shares these central points for consideration in preparation for the program:
- Democracy will not likely survive global warming.
- We cannot deal with a hotter climate without fixing our democracy.
- Fixing democracy, however, requires fundamental changes in law, policy, and economy.
- Reforms require educating a citizenry that understands the basic principles of Earth systems science and the fundamental civic principles of democracy and why they are related.
David Orr is a Professor of Practice at Arizona State University where his current work is on the repair and strengthening of American democracy. David was a member of the Oberlin faculty from 1990-2017, and Counselor to the President, Oberlin College 2007-2017. He is the author of eight books, a columnist, and writer of articles, reviews, book chapters, and professional publications. He has served as a board member or adviser to eight foundations and on the Boards of many organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Institute, the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and the Bioneers. Currently, he is a Trustee of the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado and Children and Nature Network. He has been awarded nine honorary degrees and numerous other awards and recognition. He headed the effort to design, fund, and build the Adam Joseph Lewis Center at Oberlin, which was named by an American Institute of Architects panel in 2010 as “the most important green building of the past thirty years.” He also was instrumental in the design and funding for the Platinum-rated Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center (hotel + conference center in Oberlin).