In the Anthropocene, the geologic period in which we now live, we learn more information each day about the profound ways in which humans are affecting the climate, the natural environment, and its myriad other resident species. In fact, humans are unique in being able to frame a changing climate as a ‘problem’ and subsequently, that there are ‘solutions’ to address it. And not all do. Yet knowledge exists beyond human existence and beyond human comprehension. Concurrently, conversation in response to threats from Climate Change assumes a model of adaptation and mitigation. In this series, The Commons and collaborative partners will explore known and possible ways to understand the role we play as individuals and as a species, challenge us to consider new and more perspectives, and listen for voices we are less attuned to hearing.
Questions for exploration include:
- Do humans face ethical responsibilities for future generations? For the survival of other species?
- How do humans communicate urgency, and what role does fear play?
- How do humans listen to other species in a critical moment?
- How are moral axes applied to questions about climate?
- What is the role of social justice in planning for climate change?
- How might humans consider the voices of previously extinguished ecosystems?
- What does decreasing biodiversity mean for humans and for other species?
- How do humans practice well-being amid a threatened climate?
- What can histories of previously extinct peoples and species teach?
- How does human bias affect its ability to comprehend the magnitude of climate change?
Presented by The Commons and the IPSR Center for Compassionate and Sustainable Communities
Dr. Megan Horst is a professor of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her research centers the intersection of food systems and planning, with particular focus on public policy and planning and food justice. She works with sustainable food systems, farmland conservation, and access to resource lands.
Coffee @ The Commons is presented as an opportunity for audiences to haveconversations with visiting scholars. Attendees should plan to participate in discussion.
This event is presented in conjunction with Dr. Horst’s public lecture, hosted by the Urban Planning Program in the School of Public Affairs and Administration.