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
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.
Check out all of the programs in Understanding Climate Change.
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.
Rapidly melting arctic ice, catastrophic hurricanes, devastating wildfires, and record-breaking drought; scientists agree that the climate is changing, that it’s human caused, and that it will undeniably be one of the most serious problems facing the world’s citizens for generations to come. They acknowledge that technologies to combat climate change do exist. How can we come together to address this challenge which has become a partisan political issue in the United States in a way it has not elsewhere in the world? In a lively and timely conversation, internationally recognized energy policy expert UC Berkeley Professor Dan Kammen, joins business leader and investor Tom Steyer, to discuss the pressing issue of the ever-changing environment. Climate Change, Politics and the Economy: Rhetoric v. Reality looks at where we are now, the solutions at hand, the barriers we face, and what must happen to “overcome the partisan divide” to speed the transition to a sustainable planet. For more programs, visit UC Berekley’s Goldman School of Public Policy series.
From the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UCSB, get the highlights of recent findings from the 2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment. Severe Weather in the U.S. Under a Changing Climate follows University of Illinois Professor of Atmospheric Science, Don Wuebbles, as he explains the international 50-year rise in extreme weather, especially in heat waves and large precipitation events (i.e. hail, rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow). Research indicates that there will continue to be an increase in both droughts and floods in various parts of the U.S in the next century.
For more programs, visit UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy series page.
Join the conversation: @UCTelevision, #climatechange