Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change

Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change

As a global community, we have agreed that every person deserves basic human rights—the right to life, food, water, health, housing, culture, and self-determination. Yet for millions of people, these basic rights are threatened by climate change and fossil fuel extraction. This winter and spring, Spring Creek Project will focus on the intersection of human rights and climate change with a lecture series and international tribunal. We hope to deepen our understanding of what is happening around the world and to help imagine how we can build better communities and lives as environmental crises are recognized as human rights crises.

From January 31 to May 30, Spring Creek Project will be presenting the Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change. The weekly, online lectures will feature leading writers, scientists, attorneys, community leaders, activists, and artists. Some of the lectures will do the important work of explaining the current state of human rights and climate change—how did we get here and what is happening around the world? Others will be forward-looking and invite listeners to imagine a future in which we have made the great turning toward climate justice for all living beings. Other lectures will focus on a place—fracking in Utah’s canyons, the real cost of the Bakkan on native communities. Find a full list of speakers below and learn more in our article on the Bedrock Lectures.

The Bedrock Lectures will help set the stage for the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change, which Spring Creek Project is co-organizing. The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal is an influential, international forum based in Rome. Since 1979, the Tribunal has conducted 42 high-profile hearings, including on Myanmar, Bhopal, Chernobyl, and other sites around the world, to determine whether human-rights standards were abridged.

From May 14-18, 2018, the Tribunal will focus on human rights, fracking and climate change. And, for the first time ever, the Tribunal will be conducted virtually so judges, attorneys, and witnesses from around the world can participate. Learn more in our article on the upcoming Tribunal session. The article includes six ways you can get involved with the Tribunal, including submitting testimony, hosting a pre-Tribunal, and hosting a community viewing of the live-streamed proceedings.

Watch the Bedrock Lectures

We’ll release a new Bedrock Lecture each Wednesday on our website and Facebook page. We’ll also host in-person screenings of the lectures each Wednesday at noon in Bexell Hall 415 during winter term (January 31-March 21). We’ll announce the screening location for spring at the start of next term. All the screenings are free and open to the public.

Share the Bedrock Lectures

If you use social media, you can help promote the Bedrock Lectures by sharing the weekly lecture on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

We also invite you to host viewings of the Bedrock Lectures in your community. Community viewings could be as simple as inviting a few friends over for coffee Saturday mornings to watch the lectures. Or you could host a more public viewing at your school, place of worship, or community center. Each lecture will be about 20 minutes, and each speaker will pose a few questions at the end of her or his lecture to spark additional conversations at community gatherings.

Bedrock Lectures Schedule

  • January 31: Kathleen Dean Moore, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emerita, Oregon State University; co-editor, Moral Ground
  • February 7: Jacqueline Patterson, director, NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program
  • February 14: Reverend Fletcher Harper, executive director, GreenFaith
  • February 21: Julia Olson, conservation attorney and founder, Our Children’s Trust
  • February 28: Robin Bronen, co-founder and executive director, Alaska Institute for Justice
  • March 7: Bill McKibben, author and founder,
  • March 14: Stephen Trimble, writer and photographer, Red Rock Stories
  • March 2: Debra Marquart, director, MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment, Iowa State University; author, Small Buried Things: Poems
  • March 28: Don Anton, director, Law Futures Centre, Griffith University
  • April 4: Anthony Ingraffea, hydraulic fracturing researcher, Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus, Cornell University
  • April 11: Jacqueline Keeler, activist and author, Edge of Morning
  • April 18: Kyle Powys Whyte, associate professor of philosophy and community sustainability, Michigan State University
  • April 25: Josh Fox, documentary filmmaker, Gasland
  • May 2: Winona LaDuke, executive director, Honor the Earth
  • May 9: David James Duncan, author, Heart of the Monster
  • May 16: Mary Wood, Philip H. Knight Professor of Law, University of Oregon
  • May 23: John Knox, Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law, Wake Forest University; special rapporteur, United Nations Human Rights Council
  • May 30: Anna Grear, founder and co-editor-in-chief, Journal of Human Rights and the Environment; founder, Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment

Carly Lettero
Spring Creek Project

The challenge of the Spring Creek Project is to bring together the practical wisdom of the environmental sciences, the clarity of philosophical analysis, and the creative, expressive power of the written word, to find new ways to understand and re-imagine our relation to the natural world.