Weather Report Series

WEATHER REPORTS The Climate of Now – A Series of Virtual Conversations
Cuppa Tea with Terry Tempest Williams
Harvard Divinity School Fall Semester 2021

"In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. ... A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now."
                                                                                              --- Wangari Maathai

Part 1. A BURNING TESTAMENT TO CLIMATE COLLAPSE  --  Lucy Walker, Film Director, “Bring Your Own Brigade” (2021)
“Bring Your Own Brigade” (2021) – Following the aftermath of the 2018 Camp Fire, the deadliest fire in California’s history, British film maker Lucy Walker explores a question humanity can no longer afford to ignore in the midst of climate chaos: why are catastrophic wildfires increasing in number and severity around the world and what can be done about it?  Clips of this extraordinary, ground-breaking film will be shown throughout the conversation, as the American West burns in real time. Climate collapse is not about the future, it is right here, right now. This event took place on September 20, 2021.
Watch now.

Part 2. THE CLIMATE OF SACRED LAND PROTECTION – Bernadette Demientieff, Gwitch’in Council Member of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska
Bernadette Demientieff, Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, will be discussing why Sacred Land Protection matters to Indigenous communities and how her community in Alaska is standing strong to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge –Coastal Plain and the Porcupine caribou herd from becoming an oil and gas reservation. She will explain why fossil fuel companies must not be allowed to drill for oil on indigenous lands and her courageous path to “keep it in the ground” in her home ground of Alaska.  “Our Identity is non negotiable. We will never sell our culture and our traditional lifestyle for any amount of money.” Bernadette says. This event took place on September 27, 2021.
Watch now.

Part 3. THE CLIMATE OF RELATIONSHIPS & INTERSECTIONALITY  Morgan Curtis, Climate Activist, HDS Student, MDiv '24; Brontë Velez, Black-latinx transdisciplinary artist
Morgan Curtis and Brontë Velez will be discussing the intersectionality of race, class, gender, and climate collapse and how seeing the world whole through the lens of relationships creates communities of care rather than communities of conflict. They will discuss what reparations might look like on behalf of racial justice and justice for the Earth; and why it is critical to find an intergenerational dialogue, diverse and dynamic that calls for a global paradigm shift.  With urgent, contemplative and imaginative voices, Curtis and Velez are women of consequence and action who walk their talk in the name of radical evolutionary change. This event took place on 4 October 2021.
Watch now.  

Part 4. THE CLIMATE OF COMPASSION FOR ALL BEINGS -- Janet Gyatso, Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and the Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at HDS School.
We are not the only species that lives and loves and grieves on this planet.  Janet Gyatso will bring provocative and evocative questions and ideas forward surrounding the sentience of all beings focusing on the phenomenology of being-with other animals and humans.  And how we can cultivate the capacity to have such experiences, in ways that might ethically reform us and our ethical and spiritual practices. How might compassion and an understanding toward animals heighten and mirror a reciprocal relationship toward each other and what it means to not only to be human, but one species among many? This event took place on October 18, 2021.
Watch now.  

Part 5. THE CLIMATE OF GRIEF  – Victoria Chang, poet, Obit (2021)
Poet Victoria Chang writes in her New York Times Notable Book of 2020, OBIT “I always knew that grief was something I could smell. But I didn’t know that it’s not actually a noun but a verb. That it moves.” After the deaths of her parents, she refused to write elegies, instead she wrote poetic obituaries of the beautiful, broken world that surrounded – Many see them as love letter. How does poetry illuminate this time of uncertainty. What we thought was a pause is now a place – grief is part of this place.  How do we embrace grief and not look away  from all that is breaking our hearts.  “Give sorrow words,” Chang writes and she does. This event took place on October 25, 2021.
Watch now.  

Part 6. THE CLIMATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS – Michael Pollan, Writer, This Is Your Mind On Plants (2021)
Michael Pollan has been educating us with illuminating prose on “The Botany of Desire” for a very long time. He continues to show us through his landmark bestseller, How To Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, alongside  his latest book This Is Your Mind On Plants may be the very thing we need to bolster our consciousness in the midst of climate collapse and a world we hardly recognize. Three words come to mind: change, restoration, resiliency.  Pollan is a visionary writer and one of our clearest thinkers with upmost integrity of mind and heart.  Expert storytelling with a radical challenge to pay attention to what plants have to teach us that will transform our life, this conversation will be a live streamed event. This event took place on November 1, 2021.
Watch now.  

Part 7. THE CLIMATE OF RESISTANCE -- Chloe Aridjis, Writer’s Rebel, UK, Novelist, Sea Monsters (2020); Wanjira Mathai, Regional Director for Africa at the World Resources Institute
Award-winning novelist Chloe Aridjis and Conservationist Wanjira Mathai are powerful leaders in the global environmental movement who are fierce and compassionate, at once. They are also the daughters of iconic conservation heroes:  Homero Aridjis, a Mexican poet who started Grupo de Cien to save the monarch butterflies in the forests of Michoacán where he was born; and Nobel Peace Laureate Wangari Maathai from Kenya who founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, who have planted more than 51 million trees, a stay against climate change. Aridjis and Mathai will be discussing how conservation is a generational stance and share what they as vibrant activists are seeing, feeling, dreaming and doing as women of their generation who are leading now.  This event took place on November 8, 2021.
Watch now.  

Part 8. THE CLIMATE OF ATTENTION  –  Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer for The New Yorker, Under White Sky: The Nature of the Future (2021)
No one has covered the climate crisis as deeply and as thoughtfully as Elizabeth Kolbert. From Field Notes From A Catastrophe (2007) to her Pulitzer-prize winning book The Sixth Extinction (2016) to her most recent book, Under The White Sky “a book about people trying to solve problems caused by people trying to solve problems” that discusses what “a good Anthropocene” might look like from managing fish in the Midwest to including geo-engineering the atmosphere that will turn our blue sky white. Kolbert is a brilliant writer and an impeccable journalist writing from the front lines of climate change. Rolling Stone Magazine writes, “To be a well-informed citizen of Planet Earth, you need to read Elizabeth Kolbert.” This will be an illuminating conversation about where we find ourselves now and in the future depending on what choices we choose to make and the actions we are willing or not willing to take on behalf of a liveable future. This event took place on November 15, 2021.
Watch now.  

Part 9. THE CLIMATE OF THE FUTURE  – Kim Stanley Robinson, Writer, The Ministry for the Future (2020)
Kim Stanley Robinson has written a science fiction thriller on climate collapse in 2025 that reads as hard-edge journalism.  With short chapters written from the perspectives of a myriad of characters, Robinson looks at climate change through lens of a kaleidoscope.  With each turn of his wrist, we see another point view brought forward with imagination and a pragmatic visions on what must be done in order for us to survive.  Christian Holub writes “Robinson lays a blueprint for fighting climate change.” This may be one of the most important books published in the last two decades.  Bill McKibben said in his review of “The Ministry For The Future,” in the New York Review of Books, “This is not science fiction…..”  With questions ranging from what the end of capitalism might look like to surviving the end of the world, Kim Stanley Robinson gives us a possible path to move forward with faith in what we can create together. This event took place on November 22, 2021.
Watch now.  

Part 10. THE CLIMATE OF COMMUNITY  – Brian Kirbis,* -- A Community Tea Ceremony, Theasophie
For our last “Weather Report,” Tea Master Brian Kirbis who has opened each conversation with a tea pouring to set a tone of well being and attention,  on this final session, he will take us through a formal tea ceremony.  As a global community online, we will be able to sit and sip in a collective silence and hold space together as we contemplate all we have heard and taken into our minds and hearts as a community of care.  Through this gesture of generosity and grace, Brian will close our gathering with a meditation for peace and conscious action on behalf of this place we call home, Earth. This event took place on November 29, 2021.
Watch now.  

Planetary Health Alliance

The Planetary Health Alliance is a consortium of over 340 universities, government entities, research institutes, and other partners around the world committed to understanding and addressing global environmental change and its health impacts.
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