David Orr gives public talk May 14

Oberlin, Ohio, is miles away from what would be considered national centers of political or economic power. But that’s where David Orr is working to fundamentally change the way we live.

David OrrDr. Orr, professor of environmental studies and politics and adviser to the president of Oberlin College, is a visionary in dealing with climate change.

He has written several hundred articles and seven books on environmentalism, sustainability, green engineering and building, education and climate change.

On May 14, the local community will have an opportunity to hear Dr. Orr when he makes a public presentation at the Monterey Conference Center, sponsored by CSU Monterey Bay. The 90-minute talk will get under way at 7:30 p.m. in the DeAnza III ballroom. 

Dr. Orr was a driving force behind the Adam Joseph Lewis Environmental Studies Center at Oberlin, a showpiece for the most cutting-edge elements of green building. The U.S. Department of Energy named the facility “one of 30 milestone buildings in the 20th century; the New York Times called it the most interesting of a new generation of college and university buildings.

He’s also executive director of the Oberlin Project, a joint effort of the city of Oberlin, the college, and private and institutional partners to build a prosperous post-fossil-fuel-based economy.

His most recent book, “Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse,” takes the reader "from the 35,000-foot level to see the big issue of climate change – down to Main Street, where it can be understood,” he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper.

He went on to tell the paper, “So when you come down from 35,000 feet – when you get down from all the big ideas, the science and down from the abstract to the real – where we live, how we live, food, energy, water, livelihood and support – what's it going to look like in a post-carbon fuel world?
“Is it going to be Hell on Earth or is it going to be a world of front porches and solar collectors and bicycle trails.

“We have it within our power to make that better world – the one with the solar collectors and the bicycles – but we won't have it much longer. That's why I called the book 'Down to the Wire.' That's where we are right now.”

Said Dr. Dan Fernandez, co-chair of CSU Monterey Bay’s Sustainability Committee, “The purpose of Dr. Orr’s visit is to share his great successes as an environmental thinker and innovator. Can we learn from Oberlin’s experiences, become a more sustainable community and possibly even become climate positive?”

The talk is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested and can be made online.

For more information, call Dr. Dan Fernandez at 582-3786.

Learn about sustainability at CSUMB.

Photo of Dr. Orr courtesy of Oberlin College