Scholar to address climate change
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
One of the most controversial and, arguably, most critical issues facing humanity is addressed by the ECU Religious Studies Program when it hosts — for the 27th Distinguished Lecture on Religion and Culture — perhaps the strongest voice of concern about global warming.
Author of the first book on climate change and founder of the largest advocacy group, Bill McKibben was named in 2009 by Foreign Policy magazine to its 100 most important global thinkers, and MSN named him one of the dozen most influential men. Boston Globe called him "probably the nation's leading environmentalist," and a Time reviewer said he’s "the world's best green journalist." A Middlebury College Schumann Distinguished Scholar, he leads the advocacy group, 350.org.
His ECU lecture, “Faith and Climate: Trying to Make Sense of the Biggest Things that Ever Happened,” addresses ethical issues and the role of faith communities. Author of a dozen books about the environment, McKibben’s first was The End of Nature (1989). His latest (2019) New York Times bestseller is Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out? He talks about why the critical time for action was missed, where he still finds hope, and what the world will look like in three decades. His book, Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (2007), was also a national bestseller.
Although his presentation is not directly on this topic, he also has taken a strong stand on what I’ve written widely about: radical human enhancement technology — using robotics, artificial intelligence, tissue engineering and other cutting-edge technologies to terminate aging and enhance humans in other ways. I disagree with the extreme position articulated in his book, Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age.
The lecture on global warming is 7 p.m., Sept. 19, Main Campus Student Center, Ballrooms A-B.
The writer is ECU religion professor and the former at-large representative on the Greenville City Council.