Painting: The Peaceable Kingdom, Edward Hicks, 1834
November 17-18, 2018
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Geological Lecture Hall
24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
Early Bird. $150
Low Budget, $50
Coffee, tea and snacks will be available throughout the day.
Volunteer opportunities available too – please contact email@example.com
*Biodiversity for a Livable Climate is not affiliated with Harvard University,
nor is this conference a Harvard University program or activity.
A conference about us civilized humans falling in love with
the wonders and beauties of the natural world once again.
For what we love, we protect.
We now have a rapidly growing collection of science that demonstrates the abilities – even intelligence – of creatures across the kingdoms of life. We’ll review fascinating scientific research and everyday experiences that must give us pause. Such investigations indicate how brilliant the being that some have called Gaia – Planet Earth – collectively is. It’s not just about animals either – it’s also about fungi, plants and microbes, and how we humans are just one small part of this great symphony of intelligent life.
Indigenous cultures have known this forever, the rest of us have some catching up to do. Fortunately we are finally leaving behind us the scientific curse of “anthropomorphism,” the idea that attributing any form of intelligence to non-human creatures was really just a matter of over-using our imaginations.
You may ask, “What does pan-species intelligence have to do with climate and biodiversity?” In keeping with our striving towards systems thinking we would say “a lot”! Can we let go of our hubris, our belief that we are the chosen ones, and realize that compassion and collaboration, far more than competition, are the essence of life on Earth? If we can, perhaps we will finally become the stewards – and the stewarded – that we can and should be.
We promise that you will be astonished and delighted, as have we, at recent as well as ancient insights about the creatures we share Planet Earth with. They express feelings and intelligence that we can barely understand, they lead full and interesting lives, and we rely on their diverse and varied presence for our own survival. They’re talking to us, and this will be a weekend where we learn more about how to listen – and to marvel. Here’s a sample of what we’ll be pondering.