Technology and Society Forum



Some Like It Hot--Many More Don't: Climate Change and US Politics

David OrrDavid W. Orr
Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College
James Marsh Professor, University of Vermont

NJIT Campus Center Ballroom
November 12, 2008, 3:00 - 4:30 pm

Download the flyer (PDF, 3.9 MB)


Dealing effectively with climate change presents political challenges that can be even more complex than the science involved. In the final Fall Technology and Society Forum presentation on November 12, David Orr will explore critical climate-change issues in the context of U.S. politics and policy decisions.

In addition to his current affiliations with Oberlin College and the University of Vermont, Orr has been a scholar in residence at Ball State University, the University of Washington and other universities, and he has lectured at hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and Europe.His career as a scholar, teacher, writer and entrepreneur spans fields as diverse as environment and politics, environmental education, campus greening, green building, ecological design and climate change.

In 1987, Orr organized studies that helped to launch the green campusmovement.He organized the first conference on the effects of impending climate change on the banking industry.Co-sponsored by then Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, the conference brought together prominent bankers and leading climate experts.

Orr initiated the effort to design the first substantially green building on a U.S. campus in 1996. The Adam Joseph Lewis Center at Oberlin purifies all wastewater and is powered entirely by sunlight.Most importantly, it is a laboratory in sustainability that trains students for careers in solving environmental problems.

In a 2000 Chronicle of Higher Education article, Orr proposed carbon neutrality for colleges and universities. Current projects include defining a climate-action plan for the incoming president’s first 100 days in office, and working with prominent legal scholars to define the rights of posterity in cases where the actions of the present generation might deprive posterity of “life, liberty, and property.”

Orr is the author of five books and co-editor of three others. Ecological Literacy, described as a "true classic" by Garrett Hardin, is widely read and used at numerous colleges and universities. Earth in Mind has been praised by people as diverse as biologist E.O. Wilson and writer, poet and farmer Wendell Berry.

Co-sponsored by the NJIT Technology and Society Forum Committee, Albert Dorman Honors College and Sigma Xi.

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