Science in America - Neil deGrasse Tyson
How did America rise from a backwoods country to be one of the greatest nations the world has ever known? That’s the question posited by Neil deGrasse Tyson, America’s best-known contemporary scientist, at the beginning of this short film. The answer, unequivocally, is science. Tyson elaborates with a robust, heartfelt and moving defense of a field that’s been under attack.
Adaptation Bangladesh: Sea Level Rise
The “new normal” of global climate change is, generally, a harrowing reality to contemplate. Cultural anthropologist (and Moving Mountains Symposium speaker) Alizé Carrére helps us see, however, that it does not need to be a reality devoid of hope. In Bangladesh — the most densely populated country in the world and one that will bear a disproportionate share of the impact of global climate change — Carrere shows us the kind of resilience, flexibility and innovation that will be requisite for the survival of our species.
Eons ago, the San Miguel River carved the Telluride valley. At the beginning of the 20th century, this town’s mining community, frustrated by the river’s vagaries, straightened its natural path. In the fall of 2016, the river was returned to its original course, an effort that required imagination, foresight and a lot of heavy machinery. The Meander tells the story of the San Miguel and the herculean effort made to restore the river’s original flow, which, in turn, has generated environmental benefits for the Valley Floor's ecosystem and also created a carbon sink at the town’s doorstep.
Author, entrepreneur and public intellectual Paul Hawken was last at Mountainfilm in 2007 to talk about his book Blessed Unrest, which examined the vast, global movement that inspires social and environmental change. That work informed his recent long-awaited effort: Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. Hawken edited the book, working with a wide array of experts to assemble a thoroughly researched compendium of potential solutions to this ultimate threat.
In an extension of the symposium, Hawken’s presentation will posit that The New Normal can be a world where we come together to turn back what seems to be an inexorable rise in temperatures across the planet. It’s not easy work, and Hawken recognizes that. “Unquestionably, distress signals are flashing throughout nature and society, from drought, sea level rise and unrelenting increases in temperatures to expanded refugee crises, conflict and dislocation,” he writes.
But Hawken is undaunted. “We see global warming not as an inevitability but as an invitation to build, innovate and effect change, a pathway that awakens creativity, compassion and genius.”
In Person: Paul Hawken