published Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Speaker David Orr calls for ‘revolution’ to cope with climate change

Environmentalist David Orr presents a speech titled "Religion, Morality and Patriotism in a Black Swan World" at the Pilgrim Congregational Church Tuesday evening in Chattanooga, Tenn.  Orr, a professor of Oberlin College, challenged listeners to understand the issue of climate change and to use their various grassroots organizations to inspire change.
Environmentalist David Orr presents a speech titled "Religion, Morality and Patriotism in a Black Swan World" at the Pilgrim Congregational Church Tuesday evening in Chattanooga, Tenn. Orr, a professor of Oberlin College, challenged listeners to understand the issue of climate change and to use their various grassroots organizations to inspire change.
Photo by Jenna Walker.

Nationally recognized environmental author and speaker David Orr challenged Chattanoogans on Tuesday to adapt to climate change because there is no turning it back now.

“We’re evicting ourselves from the only paradise we’ve ever known,” Orr told a packed house at Pilgrim Congregational Church. “This is a different era, and every issue you can have is now going to be more complicated because of climate change.”

With a talk titled, “Do we have a religious, moral and patriotic responsibility to protect our environment?” Orr noted that the 2 degree centigrade increase in global temperature is the effect of what came from the world’s smokestacks and tail pipes 30 years ago.

“But it’s not gloom and doom. It’s science,” he added. “And we will have to think our way through to deal with it.”

To cope and make the world better for upcoming generations, he said people must force policy changes for an “ecological design revolution.” That change would include climate-proof buildings that power themselves, farming education that produces locally grown food, and education that produces thinkers — not just test-takers.

The technology is available, Orr said, but the public perception of need and the political courage has not been.

“If this isn’t a moral issue, there is no moral issue,” he told the audience.

Orr, the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics at Oberlin College, said the college town of Oberlin, Ohio — population 10,000 — is accepting the challenge.

There the City Council approved a goal to be carbon neutral in three years and obtain an energy efficiency of 75 percent.

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield attended the talk sponsored by the Chattanooga Office of Sustainability.

The mayor praised Orr’s message.

“He was challenging and frightening and encouraging, all at the same time,” the mayor said. “He’s the kind of guy we like to have come to Chattanooga because he helps to refocus our thinking.”

Contact Pam Sohn at psohn@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6346.

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

3
Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.
nucanuck said...

We will reduce consumption when our last dime is spent and our credit card has been rejected. Fouling our own nest is not a subject we wish to learn about.

More bread and circus, please.

June 8, 2011 at 1:23 a.m.
heneh said...

I guess Al Gore was busy hiding out after Climategate and could not come to the meeting last night. Even after the flawed science scandal some people insist on promoting man made global warming. It is not about the environment but about control of land use and the right to live where and how we wish. That is why everyone in Hamilton County needs to understand what the true meaning of “Smart Growth and Sustainable Development” really means. http://www.rightsidenews.com/2011031513043/life-and-science/energy-and-environment/smart-growth-is-it-really-smart.html and http://www.freedomadvocates.org/ If you have noticed, by the newspaper articles over the last few months,they are trying to make the case for lots of new regulations and changes. For example May 13, 2011 the article about Chattanooga being ranked last in mass transit had a quote that tells the whole intent “It will take direct government intervention to persuade suburbanites to give up their big yards and cars for city apartments and mass transit.” Chattanooga is a member of ICLEI which helped them plan the Chattanooga Climate Action Plan. Go to www.ICLEI.org to find out who they are connected to and ask yourself if we need this kind of help in making plans for Hamilton County. As for the science they are talking about go the following link.http://blog.heritage.org/2010/02/18/the-science-behind-global-warming-not-so-irrefutable/

June 8, 2011 at 4:09 p.m.
Galactus said...

I find it amazing, no appalling, the ends to which those hungry for power and control will go (including totally misleading people) to run every facet of life. Even after the unimaginable scandal of lying about climate change, they have no problem looking you in the eye and saying in effect 'yeah we lies about that, but it's real this fime'. There can be no trust in science run, validated and sanitized by the ones lusting for control. America - wake up and remember your founding before the chains of socialist bonding are forged fully. Wise stewardship is our responsibility but when animals and the like take precedence over humans, it is wrong! And are we so arrogant and prideful to think we are in control? I'm afraid that answer is yes. Climate change (by the environmentalists definition) is a hoax.

June 8, 2011 at 10:14 p.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement
400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.