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Brave New Planet: Imagining Ecological Communities with BIll McKibben

Brave New Planet: Imagining Ecological Communities with BIll McKibben

Thu, October 27, 2011

Brave New Planet: 

Imagining Ecological Communities

   October 27 - 30           Claremont, CA


Presenting Bill McKibben, Author, Activist, Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and sometime United Methodist Sunday school teacher.  


A conference focusing on the work of Bill McKibben and his new book Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planeton life in a climate-disrupted, post peak-oil, politically-disturbed world, and what can be done to ensure that life not only survives but flourishes in this new setting.

Pre-Conference Lecture
Thursday, October 27, 2011, 7 pm
Bridges Auditorium, Pomona College

 Conference: Brave New Planet:
Imagining Ecological Communities

Friday & Saturday, October 28-29, 2011,
Claremont Presbyterian Church,
1111 Mountain Avenue, Claremont, CA

Post Conference Concert

Jubilee! Folk Concert for a Brave New Planet
Saturday, October 29, 2011, 7:30-9:30 p.m.
Folk and original music by Jim and Jean Strathdee,
Jim Manley, and the Pilgrim Pickers.
Claremont Presbyterian Church,
1111 Mountain Avenue, Claremont, CA
Free and open to the public (an offering will be taken)

Friday, October 28, 2011

8 a.m.: On-site registration available.

8:30 a.m.: Welcome (Karen Sapio, Pastor, Claremont Presbyterian Church, and Peter Laarman, Executive Director, Progressive Christians Uniting)

8:35 a.m.: Opening Worship with Bill McKibben speaking (led by a worship team including Dwight Vogel, Barbara Troxell, and conference musicians Jim and Jean Strathdee, Jim Manley and the Pilgrim Pickers)

9:20 a.m.: Explanation of program (Vern Visick)

9:30 a.m.: Response groups meet to discuss personal and collective responses to McKibben’s Thursday night lecture
10:30 a.m.: Coffee break
10:45 a.m.: Plenary Session: Starting over in hard times (Leader: John Cobb, Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology)

Historically, civilizations have risen and fallen and begun again, and we can learn much from the historical experience of the parts of our community that have been through this experience–some of whom are doing so today. As we face the decline and possible collapse of our own civilization, we can be encouraged by these experiences of recovery in hard times, and apply the wisdom gained to our own situation.

11:05 a.m.: Breakout Sessions: Starting over in hard times

___1. Starting anew after disasters: the Jewish experience (Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, American Jewish University)
___2. The fall of the Roman empire in the West and the role of Christian Church in rebuilding society (Jane Douglass, retired, Princeton Theological Seminary)
___3. The experience of contemporary Christian communities in “failed states” and major city slums around the world (Ed Brown, Care of Creation)
___4. On the Navajo: the experience of the Navajo nation in recovering from disaster (Omie Baldwin, member, Navajo nation, and counselor, UW-Madison)
___5. The German experience of recovering from the disaster of WWII and its role in contemporary German green politics (Martin Frick, former member, German Diplomatic Corps)
___6. Philosophical insight and its role in civilizational recovery (John Cobb)
___7. Life-like, deep green methods for preparing for and rebuilding after collapse (Ellen LeConte, Author, Life Rules, and Tim Watson, Earthwalk Alliance, Hillsborough, NC)
___8. Small groups as the basic units in social recovery (Thandeka)
___9. McKibben’s Scenario is daunting. What are the chances for a softer landing? (Monty Hempel, University of Redlands)
___10. Was Malthus right after all? Population is still an issue, but how might it work out in the contemporary situation? (Marilyn HempelPopulation Press)

12:10 a.m.: Plenary review with John Cobb and Bill McKibben

12:45 p.m.: Lunch (box lunches, at the First United Methodist Church’s site for the Uncommon Good House)

2:15 p.m.: Plenary Session–Food First: Agriculture and the Planet’s Future (Dean Freudenberger, (Emeritus, Lutheran School of Theology, Twin Cities, and Claremont School of Theology)

More than many parts of the country, Southern California is an “artificial” creation, a way of life made possible by imported water, cheap oil, and a world-wide market in food. What will happen when water is harder to get, energy much more expensive–and climate change complicates food production and distribution in ways we have not anticipated?

2:55 p.m.:  Breakout sessions: Food First: Food for a Tough New  Planet

___11. Water for desert populations in an era of climate change (Char Miller, Pomona College)
___12. Treating people and land ethically in a Southern California food system (Heather Williams, Pomona College, Claremont, CA). 
___13. Urban farming (Dan Allen, practitioner, “Lawns to Vegetables,” and Nancy Mintie, Director, Uncommon Good)
___14. Vision of a regenerative food system (Kyle Brown, Director, the John Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona)
___15. The Business Alliance for Local and Living Economies (BALLE) as a model for business-community relations in the new era (……………………., BALLE LA).
___16. The ethics of raising and eating animals–and the practice and spirituality of eating lower on the food chain (Brian G. Henning, Gonzaga University)
___17.  Small farms and healthy societies in Western history, (Evaggelos Vallianatos, Claremont, CA)
___18. The role of global ecological design in reconverting agricultural, urban and wild (or hybrid) systems. (Alan Wittbecker)
.  The seven provisions and degradations of creation: a scientist outlines what we have to remember about the creation in the next phase of our civilization (Cal DeWitt, UW-Madison)

4 p.m.: Break

4;15 p.m.: Discussion with Dean Freudenberger and Bill McKibben

5 p.m.: Supper (open, on the town, at your own expense. Lists of restaurants and meal alternatives will be available. Small groups meetings are optional, depending on the inclinations of the group.)

6:30 p.m.: Gathering and singing (led by conference musicians Jim and Jean Strathdee, Jim Manley and the Pilgrim Pickers)

7 p.m.: Plenary Session: Local communities in the New Era: How democracy, resilience, and sustainability can converge (David Orr, Oberlin College)

As carbon-based energy supplies become more expensive, and local problems, exacerbated by the impact of climate change, emerge into prominence, globalization as we know it will be modified–and the prospects for local self=sufficiency, resiliency, and community, will increase. Science, technology, and the market will not disappear, but they will take different forms in the new era now emerging–which we might dub “the partial return of the polis.”

7:40 p.m.: Breakout groups: Local Communities in the New Era

___20. Changing patterns in habitat, (Devon Hartman)
___21. How to inspire community-level action: a view from the Transition movement (Joanne Poyourow, TransitionLA)
___22. Rethinking work in the era of limits (social enterprise, cooperative initiatives) (Elsa Barboza, Apollo Alliance LA(?) (invited)
___23. Finance high and low (rethinking banking and money and slow money issues) (Ellen H. Brown, author, Web of Debt)
___24. Faith communities as the anchors of a new localism (Peter Rood, Rector, Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Los Angeles)
___25. Water and Energy: A senior center responds (Lois McAfee and Judy O’Neill, Pilgrim Place)
___26. ‘Steady-State Economics’ as the basis for a sustainable lifestyle for the future (Jay Jones, La Verne University)
___27. What kind of city ought we to aim for on McKibben’s “Tough New Planet?” (Richard Register, Principle, Eco-Cities)
___28. The responsibility of rich developed countries to poorer countries struggling with climate change (Christopher Shore, Director, Natural Environmental and Climate Issues, World Vision International)
___29. Just Peacemaking in a climate-changing, post peak-oil, politically disrupted world: what we need to know (Peter Sensenig, Fuller Seminary)
___30. Congregation-based religious education during a fearful/hopeful time (Allis Druffel, Interfaith Power & Light)
___31. Time poverty and environmental catastrophe (the overwork/distraction issue) (Peter Laarman, Director, Progressive Christians Uniting [PCU])
___31b. The politics of patriotism on a “Tough New Planet” (Tom Ambrogi, Pilgrim Place). In a climate-challenged and politically conflicted new planet, we must go beyond a narrow and exclusivist sense of patriotism. This session will reflect theologically on compassion at the level of person, community, and nation. Out of this reflection, it will develop a humanely enlarged and politically inclusive notion of patriotism.
___31c. A Young Latina looks at the the environmental crisis as it relates to her community (Juana Torres, Sierra Club) (invited)

8:30 p.m.: Discussion with with David Orr and Bill McKibben

9:15 p.m.: End

Saturday, October 29:

8:30 a.m.: Gathering and singing (led by conference musicians Jim and Jean Strathdee, Jim Manley, and the Pilgrim Pickers)

8:50 a.m.: Plenary: The Spirit Level: faith, education and imagination in the new era (Mary Elizabeth Moore, Dean, Boston University School of Theology)

Beyond questions about food and community life in our increasingly disrupted world, there are important educational and spiritual issues that face us in the coming era. In both realms, we must aim not only for a radically different formation at all levels, but also for a different spirituality–lest we repeat the mistakes that have led to our present plight.

9:30 a.m.: Breakout sessions:  The Spirit Level: faith, education and imagination in the new era

___32. Beyond reform, resistance, and despair: education for social and environmental catastrophe (lourdes arguelles, retired professor of education, and Larry Ward, Educator)
___33. How the research university must change in the new era (Richard Worthington, Pomona College)
___34. Reforming collegiate education for an era of disruption (Sandra Lubarsky, Appalachian State University)
___35. A case study on theological education for a new era (Claremont School of Theology’s vision for higher education) (Philip Clayton, Dean, Claremont School of Theology)
___36. A feminist perspective on environmental action in the new era (Rosemary Ruether, retired, Pacific School of Religion and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary)
___37. Spiritual Resources from the African-American community for durable faith communities in times of catastrophe (John Cager, PCU board)
___38. Thomas Berry’s “Great Work” and the vision of the Native American community, (Tim Watson, Earthwalk Alliance, Hillsborough, NC, & Ellen LaConte, Author, Life Rules)
___39. A Buddhist approach to life in troubled times (Maria Guajardo, Mayor’s Office for Education & Children, Denver, CO)
___40. Jewish and Christian resources for life in a tough new world (James Sanders, Retired Professor of Biblical Studies)
___41.Wisdom from the Catholic Tradition and contemporary challenges: Roman Catholic resources for times of civilizational disruption  (Anna Harrison & Roberto Dell’oro, Loyola Marymount University, LA)
___42. Muslim resources for difficult times (Faisal Qazi and Imam Said Seddouk)
___43. Singing vision & hope with Eaarth, (Jim and Jean Strathdee, Conference Musicians).

10:40 a.m.: Break

10:55 a.m.: Plenary discussion with Mary Elizabeth Moore and Bill McKibben

11:40 a.m.: Round Table (on organizing and messaging what we have learned)

12:30 p.m.: Lunch (Box lunches. Small groups will meet.)

2 p.m.: Gathering and singing (led by conference musicians Jim and Jean Strathdee, Jim Manley and the Pilgrim Pickers)
2:30 p.m.: Response groups meet again to discuss what we’ve learned and plans for the future.
3:30 p.m.: Break
3:45 p.m.: Discussion with plenary speakers and McKibben by way of wrapping up the conference.
4:30-5:30 p.m. Closing worship with Dr. Calvin DeWitt speaking (led by a worship team including Dwight Vogel, Barbara Troxell, and conference musicians Jim and Jean Strathdee, Jim Manley and the Pilgrim Pickers).


Study Guide for People of Faith to Eaarth