Utopia or Oblivion

Global solutions to a global crisis: climate justice & the science of viability
Date: April 7, 2011 @ 2:30 pm
Location: First Floor Lounge, Falvey Memorial Library

What if the only viable choice for our future were between achieving a collaborative, open and democratic ideal or undergoing the collapse of our global civilization? In the 1960s, architect and philosopher R. Buckminster Fuller warned that we had become advanced enough to set ourselves up with that very choice: Utopia or Oblivion…

For the third ClimateTalks roundtable event of the academic year, two faculty members will present advanced analysis of the climate crisis, from the historical, ethical and scientific points of view, and we will moderate a policy debate among students working on environmental issues.

The discussion will be framed by Buckminster Fuller’s admonition that our advanced industrial civilization was reaching a point where the choice between Utopia and Oblivion was not only a possible eventuality, but a likely outcome of hyper-advanced “world-around” communications technologies, transit, and commercial and political structures.

If we are in fact facing the need to provide water for 7 billion people, to secure the food supply against unprecedented stresses and a destabilized climate, if our routine consumption of basic resources is undermining the future sustainability of our civilization, what can we do?

We will examine key related questions and challengs and propose some ideas for how humanity can move forward in the midst of this complex crisis.

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