This weekend, February 8 and 9, UC Irvine hosts renowned environmental journalists Elizabeth Kolbert, Bill McKibben, Nathaniel Rich to speak at the Fire and Ice: The Shifting Narrative of Climate Change conference. The conference runs from 4 pm to 7:15 tonight at the Crystal Cove Auditorium, and from 9 am to 5 pm at Humanities Gateway 1800 on Saturday. This promising event is nearly sold out, but walk–ins will be welcomed.
Given OC’s track record of electing long–time climate change deniers to Washington (cough, cough, Dana Rohrabacher) and the disastrous consequences that would beset our seaside county if ocean levels rise, this event is a must for anyone with a vested interest in the sustainability of our climate and county.
Here’s a preview of what to look forward to from the keynote speakers
This former New Yorker staff writer may be the world’s preeminent climate advocate. His 1989 book The End of Nature is widely regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has been translated into 24 languages. McKibben won the Gandhi Peace Award in 2013, and was the first environmentalist to do so.
As a New Yorker staff writer since 1999, Kolbert’s writing on the politics and ethics of climate change has been monumental. Kolbert’s three part series “The Climate of Man” won both the National Magazine Award for Public Interest and the National Academies Communication awards in 2006, as well as the 2005 American Association for the Advancement of Science Award Journalism Award. Most prestigiously, her book The Sixth Extinction won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.
Although Rich is well known for his fiction writing––his story “The Northeast Kingdom” was a finalist for the Best American Magazine Award for Fiction––Rich’s environmental nonfiction draws him to UCI this weekend. His essays have appeared multiple times in the Best American Science and Nature Writing.