Quantcast
Climate

Landmark Climate Change Conference Starts Today

[EcoWatch will be interviewing many of the speakers today at this event. Click here to watch our Facebook Live videos.]

A landmark climate change conference starts today in Oberlin, Ohio. The conference will bringing together many of the world's leading thinkers, political figures, economists, investors, philanthropists, business leaders, educators and public intellectuals to discuss the changes needed to "spur a successful transition to a sustainable, resilient, prosperous and equitable economy driven by safe, renewable energy." Oberlin College and The Oberlin Project are hosting After Fossil Fuels: The Next Economy from Oct. 6 - 8.


The three-day event will focus on the economic and political realities we face in light of a warming planet. With just one month away from the presidential election, conversation on these issues couldn't be more relevant as we have two candidates with very different plans on how to address climate change.

"The most critical issue we face is climate change," said David W. Orr, the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics Emeritus at Oberlin College and the founder and visionary behind The Oberlin Project. "Climate and energy issues are flip sides of the same coin. We are now in the transition to a very different economy and we don't have a lot of time to get this right.

"October is just one month before a critical presidential election and we need to be heard in that cacophony. The governors are important speakers [at this event] because most of the action on climate change has been at state levels and it is the states who have been the real drivers in climate policy."

Speakers include:

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger, 38th Governor of California: Governor Schwarzenegger made California a world leader in renewable energy and combating climate change with the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. He is the founder of The USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, which is committed to advancing post-partisanship to find the best ideas and solutions to benefit the people they serve.
  • Bill McKibben, Founder, 350.org: Author and environmentalist McKibben was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the "alternative Nobel," in 2014. His 1989 book, The End of Nature, is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change and has appeared in 24 languages. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement. The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities. The Boston Globe has said that he is "probably America's most important environmentalist."
  • Hunter Lovins, Natural Capitalism Solutions: Lovins is president and founder of the nonprofit Natural Capitalism Solutions. A renowned author and champion of sustainable development for over 35 years, Lovins has consulted on sustainable agriculture, energy, water, security, and climate policies for scores of governments, communities, and companies worldwide. She is currently a professor of sustainable management at Bard MBA.
  • Bill Ritter, 41st Governor of Colorado: Governor Ritter was elected Colorado's 41st governor in 2006. During his four-year term, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy by building a new energy economy. After leaving the governor's office, Ritter founded the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University, which works with state and federal policymakers to create clean energy policy throughout the country. Governor Ritter's book Powering Forward – What Everyone Should Know about America's Energy Revolution was published earlier this year.
  • Michael Brune, President of the Sierra Club: The Sierra Club's executive director since 2010, Brune is one of today's most inspiring and effective environmental leaders. Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Brune led Rainforest Action Network for seven years. Under Brune's leadership, the Sierra Club has grown to more than two million supporters and is at the forefront of the drive to move beyond fossil fuels to clean energy while also protecting America's remaining wild places.
  • Mindy S. Lubber, Ceres: Lubber is president and a founding board member of Ceres, a nonprofit organization that is mobilizing many of the world's largest investors and companies to take stronger action on climate change, water scarcity, and other global sustainability challenges. She directs Ceres' Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a group of 120 institutional investors managing over $14 trillion in assets focused on the business risks and opportunities of climate change. Lubber also oversees engagements with more than 100 companies, many of them Fortune 500 firms, committed to sustainable business practices and the urgency for strong climate and clean energy policies.
  • Tom Steyer, NextGen Climate: Steyer is a business leader and philanthropist who believes that we have a moral responsibility to give back and help ensure that every family shares the benefits of economic opportunity, education, and a healthy climate. After founding and running a successful California business, he left to work full time on nonprofit and advocacy efforts. He now serves as president of NextGen Climate, an organization he founded in 2013 to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans.
  • Mark Campanale, Carbon Tracker Initiative: Campanale is founder of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, where he is responsible for management strategy, board matters, and developing the capital markets framework analysis. Originator of the "unburnable carbon" capital markets thesis, he commissioned and edited the report "Unburnable Carbon, Are markets Carrying a Carbon Bubble?"

The conference will be the first major event held in the new Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, a state-of-the-art conference center located within The Hotel at Oberlin. The center is on target to become one of the rare LEED Platinum hotels and conference centers, and is the cornerstone of Oberlin's Green Arts District.

Watch the entire conference via this live feed:

Show Comments ()
Sponsored

One Million Trees Pledged to 'Trump Forest' to Offset President's Anti-Climate Agenda

Trump Forest—a global reforestation project aiming to offset President Trump's anti-climate policies—has reached 1 million trees after thousands of pledges from around the world.

Trump Forest was launched just under a year ago after POTUS announced he was pulling the U.S. from the Paris agreement.

Keep reading... Show less
The San Francisco Projection Department on Market Street with the #ExxonKnew campaign. Peg Hunter / Flickr

Time’s Up for California AG Becerra to Investigate #ExxonKnew and Prove He’s a Real Climate Leader

By May Boeve

With Trump and fossil fuel executives in the White House, any shot of powerful and lasting protections for our climate and communities will come from our cities and states. That's why it's so troubling that in California, one of the most progressive places in the U.S., current state Attorney General Xavier Becerra is failing to stand up to ExxonMobil and its ilk.

Keep reading... Show less
United Nations Development Programme

Climate Change, Conflict Leave 224 Million Undernourished in Africa

An official with the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warns that climate change and conflict are leading to food insecurity for millions of people living in Africa.

"Undernourishment appears to have risen from about 21 percent to nearly 23 percent between 2015 and 2016," Bukar Tijani, FAO's assistant director general for Africa, said Monday at a conference in Sudan.

Keep reading... Show less
Adventure
iStock

A Stargazer’s Guide to Protected Dark Skies

By Sabine Bergmann

For millennia, human beings have gazed into the firmament and been awed by the thousands of stars, galaxies, nebulae and other cosmic wonders visible to the naked eye. But in recent generations, much of humanity has become divorced from these marvels. Today, at least 80 percent of people living in the United States and Europe are so inundated with light pollution that they can't even see our own Milky Way, let alone our neighboring galaxies like Andromeda.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Shutterstock

Contaminated Cosmetics Pose Growing Risk to Consumers

By Scott Faber

A rash of product recalls, government warning notices and contaminated cosmetics may finally push Congress to give our broken cosmetics law a makeover.

This month, a key Senate committee announced a bipartisan plan to consider cosmetics reform legislation this spring and work for its passage by the full Senate this year.

Keep reading... Show less

America’s Cities Are the Vanguard for a Sustainable Future

By Henry Henderson

In the absence of federal leadership on climate change, America's cities have become the vanguard of the country's efforts to create a sustainable future. Recently, 233 mayors from 46 states and territories, representing 51 million residents across the country, have signed an open letter opposing the repeal of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the nation's most comprehensive strategy to combat climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular

Giant Sloth Fossils, Mayan Relics Discovered in World's Largest Flooded Cave

Archaeologists exploring the world's largest flooded cave—discovered last month just outside of Tulum, Mexico—have found an impressive treasure trove of relics.

The vast, 216-mile cave actually connects two of the largest flooded cave systems in the world, the 164-mile-long Sistema Sac Actun and the 52-mile-long Dos Ojos system. Aside from an extensive reserve of freshwater and rich biodiversity, the cave also contains an 11-mile-long, 66-food-deep cavern dubbed "the mother of all cenotes." Cenotes are natural pits, or underwater sinkholes, that are often holy sites in ancient Mayan culture.

Keep reading... Show less
A comet may have brought the mammoths to extinction. Royal Tyrell Museum in Drumheller, Alberta / Dave Smith / Flickr

The Day a Comet Set the Earth on Fire: Scientists Find Evidence in Ancient Ice Cores

By Tim Radford

Think of it as the day a comet set the earth on fire. Researchers have evidence of widespread and devastating forest fires around half the world—a blaze to blot out the light of the sun—and all of it at a geological boundary called the Younger Dryas, 13,500 years ago.

The evidence, they say, supports the hypothesis that planet Earth sailed through a cloud of shattered cometary dust and stones, and the atmospheric violence that followed was enough to set light to accumulated forest timber, peat and grasses across the Americas, Europe and western Asia.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!