World-renown linguist, philosopher, author and political activist Noam Chomsky delivered lecture titled “Prospects for Survival” at UMass Amherst Mullins Center. His visit is sponsored by the Political Economy Research Institute to celebrate the inauguration of Crotty Hall, the first net-zero energy building constructed at UMass Amherst.
Starr Forum lecture with Noam Chomsky on climate change and President Trump.
About Noam Chomsky:
Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist. Sometimes described as “the father of modern linguistics”, Chomsky is also a major figure in analytic philosophy, and one of the founders of the field of cognitive science. He is Institute Professor Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has worked since 1955, and is the author of over 100 books on topics such as linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. Ideologically, he aligns with anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian socialism.
Jim Gustafson, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, giving his Fourteenth Lecture in a series of Thirty-Six Lectures on Maps in Psychiatry, as every Friday (but for an occasional vacation week), posted mid-afternoon on YouTube, earliest on the Jim Gustafson Channel, four items down the Jim Gustafson List, or on his web site at http: //psychiatry.wisc.edu/gustafson. Also, the new book from which these lectures are drawn into ten-minute form, is available with one click also on his web site electronically. These YouTube Lectures are for doctors and psychotherapists and patients and everyone interested in maps of the whole situation that will save us, distinguished from maps captured by only a part of the situation that can snare us.
The Fourteenth Lecture begins from Jonathan Lear’s book, Radical Hope, Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006), to summarize how Lear explains the remarkable capacity of Plenty Coups, the last chief of the Crow tribe who died in 1932, to depend upon his dream as a nine-year boy of the disappearance of the buffalo down a hole in the ground. In other words, the boy could face up in the dream to the near total cultural devastation of his people. Then he could also depend upon his dream to point to the way to undergo this disaster, by becoming as a a chickadee, whose lodge was the only lodge to withstand the storm of the white man in the boy’s dream.
The lecture goes on to my nightmare a week ago out at our cabin on the great prairie, analogous to that of Plenty Coups, in which I dream my own body into the cultural devastation we are looking at now in our people. I continue with an excerpt from Dostoevsky concerning degradation and loss of nobility in Russia in the 19th century. I conclude with a remarkable dream of one of my patients that helps her to sort out what is shielded ground from what is unshielded ground.
We are a group drawn from the psychological professions.
We aim to contribute our specialist knowledge to the area of climate change. As a not-for-profit membership organisation, we invite people to Join In, and come to our individual events. We also work with Partner organisations.
The Alliance is co-ordinated by an Executive Group, supported by an Advisory Group. Profiles of those involved are provided below.
Shortly before he died, Plenty Coups, the last great Chief of the Crow Nation, told his story―up to a certain point. “When the buffalo went away the hearts of my people fell to the ground,” he said, “and they could not lift them up again. After this nothing happened.” It is precisely this point―that of a people faced with the end of their way of life―that prompts the philosophical and ethical inquiry pursued in Radical Hope.
In Jonathan Lear’s view, Plenty Coups’s story raises a profound ethical question that transcends his time and challenges us all: how should one face the possibility that one’s culture might collapse?
This is a vulnerability that affects us all―insofar as we are all inhabitants of a civilization, and civilizations are themselves vulnerable to historical forces. How should we live with this vulnerability? Can we make any sense of facing up to such a challenge courageously? Using the available anthropology and history of the Indian tribes during their confinement to reservations, and drawing on philosophy and psychoanalytic theory, Lear explores the story of the Crow Nation at an impasse as it bears upon these questions―and these questions as they bear upon our own place in the world. His book is a deeply revealing, and deeply moving, philosophical inquiry into a peculiar vulnerability that goes to the heart of the human condition.
The first three chapters from the feature length documentary, What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire, produced by Sally Erickson and Timothy Scott Bennett. Please visit http://www.whatawaytogomovie.com/ to purchase a copy and support the filmmakers. And visit http://bluehagbooks.com/ to learn about Bennett’s new novel, All of the Above. Thanks!
Carbon Conversations was started by Rosemary Randall, a psychotherapist, and Andy Brown an engineer. Drawing on Rosemary’s therapeutic experience with groups and Andy’s technical expertise they created a unique psycho-social project that addresses the practicalities of carbon reduction while taking account of the complex emotions and social pressures that make this difficult.
Between 2006 and 2010 the project was hosted by the charity Cambridge Carbon Footprint. From 2011 to 2012 it found a home with the Oxford charity, COIN and from 2013 to March 2017 it was managed by the Surefoot Effect Community Interest Company. We think that over two thousand people may have participated in facilitated Carbon Conversations groups.
Over the years the project produced detailed, professionally designed materials on carbon reduction, culminating in the publication of the book In Time for Tomorrow? in 2015. The project also developed considerable expertise and materials on the psychology of climate change and the use of small groups to help people overcome their fears and defensiveness in dealing with it. These materials can all be downloaded from this website.
The project is indebted to all those who helped in its development and use over the years but we should particularly mention Shilpa Shah whose work for the Akashi project developed its use of personal testimony, Peter Harper who generously contributed his expertise on carbon calculation and the three organisations who successively hosted it – Cambridge Carbon Footprint, COIN and Surefoot.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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