Renowned musician Steven Schick and award-winning environmentalist/author Barry Lopez may seem like an unlikely pairing until you consider the long history of nature’s influence on art, including music. From Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” through Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony and Debussy’s “La Mer” to the works of Vaughan Williams, Olivier Messiaen, and John Cage (to name but a few), contemplation of the natural environment has provided inspiration to generations of composers.
In Music and Nature, musician Schick and environmentalist Lopez consider the myriad ways our shared natural milieu has shaped the arts, and how the arts may in turn heighten awareness of environmental issues. They reference as an example John Luther Adams, a contemporary American composer whose works routinely incorporate natural sounds and/or allude to the environment. (His Pulitzer Prize-winning orchestral composition “Become Ocean” is based on the premise that if sea levels continue to rise, we will inevitably and quite literally “become ocean.”)
In the course of their talk the two men are able to cross the interstice that lays between their backgrounds – Schick’s as an Iowa farm boy and Lopez’s as the product of a New York upbringing – to find common ground in a philosophy that rejects an elitist or isolationist view of art, instead placing it firmly in the context of broader worldly concerns (e.g., climate change). This philosophy is reflected in the movement in educational circles from STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – to STEAM, the previous disciplines combined with Art/Design. It also plays a role in the renewed recognition that a liberal arts education has advantages in today’s workplace.
An hour in the company of Steven Schick and Barry Lopez will stimulate ideas and conversations of your own – and that’s an hour well-spent.
Watch Music and Nature with Barry Lopez and Steve Schick
Contributed by Arts & Humanities Producer, John Menier
Among the international delegations of climate experts gathering in Paris for COP 21 this month, leading researchers from the University of California are presenting “Bending the Curve,” a thorough report covering their top 10 scalable solutions for reducing global warming and addressing the impacts of climate change.
For a preview of what they are prescribing and why 2° C matter, check out the UC Climate Solutions series, featuring speakers from the UC Carbon and Climate Neutrality Summit held at UC San Diego in October. Joining the preeminent UC faculty are California Governor Jerry Brown, UC President Janet Napolitano, energy and other business leaders, policy makers, entrepreneurs and UC students who are responding to the call to “Bend the Curve.”
Explore all programs from the UC Carbon and Climate Neutrality Summit.
If you’ve spent anytime in California in the last few years, you know this: California is in the midst of a severe drought. But while the lack of rainfall is not in dispute, there is widespread disagreement on how to respond.
A panel convened for Cal Day at UC Berkeley explores policy options that could attract support throughout the state, even from groups with conflicting interests. These experts argue that despite the diversity of perspectives in California, the state is well-positioned to achieve bipartisan consensus on solutions that will affect everyone.
Just what do they have in mind? Watch Water Policy and the Drought to find out!
Browse more programs from The Public Policy Channel.
Learn more about climate change with new programs that examine its impact from a variety of perspectives. Discover how humans and climate interact and affect one another, learn what you can do to reduce greenhouse emissions, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the Pope’s call to protect the environment.
Climate Change, Consumerism and the Pope with Daniel Kammen and Jennifer Granholm
After being summoned to the Vatican to advise on climate change, Dan Kammen of UC Berkeley shares an insider’s view on what inspired Pope Francis to issue such a passionate plea to protect the earth in Laudato Si, his 2015 encyclical on the environment. As a practicing Catholic, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm praises the Pope for presenting “human ecology” as a moral issue in this lively exchange with Kammen and Henry E. Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.
Watch Climate Change, Consumerism and the Pope with Daniel Kammen and Jennifer Granholm.
What Are You Going to Do About It? The Effect of Uncertainty on Climate Change Policy
Taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions imposes costs now in order to avoid potentially very large costs from more severe climate change in the future. Steve Polasky, Professor of Ecological/Environmental Economics University of Minnesota, reviews major sources of uncertainty and how that alters the choice of optimal climate change policy. He discusses current debates on how best to frame climate change policy, and whether it should be framed as setting limits on greenhouse gas concentrations to avoid potentially catastrophic damages or as an application of benefit-cost analysis.
Watch What Are You Going to Do About It? The Effect of Uncertainty on Climate Change Policy.
CARTA: Human-Climate Interactions and Evolution: Past and Future
According to earth scientists, paleontologists, and scholars in other fields, the planet has entered a new geological phase – the Anthropocene, the age of humans. How did this transition of our species from an apelike ancestor in Africa to the current planetary force occur? What are the prospects for the future of world climate, ecosystems, and our species? This symposium presents varied perspectives on these critical questions from earth scientists, ecologists, and paleoanthropologists.
Watch CARTA: Human-Climate Interactions and Evolution: Past and Future.
Why is this Pope different from all other Popes? What inspired his cry from the heart to preserve “our home” in Laudato Si, his recent letter to Catholics and all residents of this glorious, yet troubled, planet?
Dan Kammen of UC Berkeley was among those summoned to the Vatican to advise on climate change and he shares what happened there, as former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Henry E. Brady, dean of the Goldman School of Public Policy, respond with passion to the Pope’s critique of our consumer-driven way of life. A fourth guest joins midway, this one with black fur and four legs, presumably comforted by the Pope’s call to protect all creatures great and small.
Watch Climate Change, Consumerism and the Pope on the UC Public Policy Channel.