Caring for Creation Conference: Featuring Bill McKibben as Keynote!
Conference information below:
Our action item is a postcard that we are asking conference attendees to complete, pledging to one or more of the action items listed in order to reduced their carbon footprint and tread more lightly on the earth. We made 350 post-cards and will videotape attendees taking the pledge. All cards turned in will be followed-up on throughout the year to offer encouragement in their endeavors!
Visit our website for more information: www.ocice.org/conference.html
Bill McKibben is an environmentalist & writer who frequently writes about global warming, alternative energy, & the risks associated with human genetic engineering. Beginning in the summer of 2006, he led the organization of the largest demonstrations against global warming in American history. McKibben is active in the Methodist Church, & his writing sometimes has a spiritual bent.
Bill has written several books, including The End of Nature, The Age of Missing Information, Hope, Human & Wild, The Comforting Whirlwind: God, Job, & the Scale of Creation, & Maybe One, to name a few. In March 2007 McKibben published Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities & the Durable Future, which addresses what he sees as shortcomings of the growth economy & envisions a transition to more local-scale enterprise. March 2008 saw the publication of The Bill McKibben Reader, a collection of 44 essays written for various publications over the past 25 years.
In January 2007 he founded stepitup07.org & with six college students, he organized 1,400 global warming demonstrations across all 50 states on April 14, 2007. Since then, he & his colleagues founded 350.org. 350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge & irreversible damage to the earth.
Bill is a frequent contributor to various magazines including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Orion Magazine, Mother Jones, The New York Review of Books, Granta, Rolling Stone, & Outside. He is also a board member & contributor to Grist Magazine.
Bill has been awarded Guggenheim & Lyndhurst Fellowships, & won the Lannan Prize for nonfiction writing in 2000. He has honorary degrees from Green Mountain College, Unity College, Lebanon Valley College & Sterling College.
Bill currently resides with his wife, writer Sue Halpern, & daughter, Sophie, who was born in 1993, in Ripton, Vermont. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College.
Bill’s Keynote Address, “Why Ringing the Church Bells 350 times Might Save the World,” will address what we’ve learned about symbolic action & the chance that if we move fast enough, we may be able do something about climate change.
#1 Thriving Post Petroleum with Passive Solar
Chris Prelitz, LEED a.p.
This workshop will focus on how tried & true passive solar principles can provide one solution to rising energy costs & climate change.
Specializing in green & solar building for over 20 years, Chris co-designed & built the first permitted solar electric home in O.C. & recently consulted with Mercedes Benz on the first solar powered LEED certified auto dealership in the U.S. He has been featured in numerous publications, including Natural Home, Riviera, Sunset & Coast magazines. He was also on ‘green flip’ in Laguna Woods featured on Discovery Channels’ “Greenovate.” His new book “Green Made Easy” will be published next year. He lives in Laguna Beach, with his wife Becky & can be reached at www.Prelitz.com.
#2 Building Community Activism
Working from his book “Fight Global Warming Now,” published in October 2007, Bill will lead a discussion to help attendees initiate environmental activism in their own communities.
#3 Green Vision Project & Natural Lands Acquisition Opportunities
Melanie Schlotterbeck, FHBP
As one of only 20 hot spots of biodiversity on the Earth, Southern California demonstrates a unique ecological opportunity for conservation. Orange County’s existing open spaces play an important role in the regional context. In 2000, the regional non-profit Friends of Harbors, Beaches & Parks (FHBP) created the Green Vision Map to document public & private protected lands & with it a wish list of properties to purchase & restore. In 2005, the Green Vision Project’s 75 supporting member organizations discussed endorsing OCTA’s Measure M.; 33 of those groups officially joined the coalition that ultimately gave formal endorsement to Measure M. The coalition believes our Green Vision Map offers significant opportunities that will help secure the health of this important landscape.
Melanie received her BA in Geography & her Master of Science in Environmental Studies from Cal State Fullerton. She is currently an environmental non-profit consultant. Under her new partnership, Conservation Clarity, she utilizes her geography background & knowledge of habitats & wildlife to develop local & regional GIS maps. She also designs & edits newsletters & brochures, PowerPoint presentations, writes grants, maintains five websites, & coordinates strategizing meetings. As the Outreach Coordinator for the county-wide non-profit Friends of Harbors, Beaches & Parks, Ms. Schlotterbeck was part of a four person team to negotiate the inclusion of $243.5 million in comprehensive environmental mitigation in the Orange County Transportation Authority’s renewed Measure M. In her spare time, she serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Chino Hills State Park Interpretive Association & thoroughly enjoys creating one-of-a-kind quilts.
#4 Adventures in Local Eating
Irene Graff & Debra Hamano
After reading about the impacts of global food systems & the benefits of a local diet, Debbie Hamano & Irene Graff committed to a year of local eating. Come hear about the delights & challenges of their year so far. Are you interested in becoming a “locavore” too—it’s easier & tastier than you think! Information on the benefits of a local diet along with resources to help you get started will be shared & discussed.
Irene Graff & Debbie Hamano are partners in both life & their commitment to reduce their ecological footprint. Irene has had a lifelong interest in environmental issues & conservation & has conducted research comparing the carbon footprint of different regions & groups in the US. Before this year, she was a vegetarian who didn’t eat many vegetables & has since grown to savor culinary variety. Debbie enjoys cooking vegetables in her pressure cooker & thought she knew her stuff. However, “what’s THIS?” has been a common phrase when opening our weekly box of local organic vegetables. Debbie tries to “walk the talk” of conservation, striving to reduce, reuse, & recycle wherever possible & creating a culture of environmental awareness at her workplace.
#5 Climate Change & Public Health
Dr. Amer El-Ahraf, Professor & VP Emeritus, CSU, Dominguez Hills
This workshop examines the potential public health impact of climate change as one of the overarching environmental issues facing humanity, including a review of human activities influencing global warming. Also examined is the use of epidemiological or population health studies of past events to predict future public health consequences of climate change. Public policy issues & moral implications will be discussed.
Dr. El-Ahraf is Professor of Health Sciences & Vice President Emeritus, California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is a registered environmental health specialist with the state of California, & the President of the American European University Consortium, Global University Forum, Hamburg, Germany. He was recently named by the Journal of Environmental Health as one of 15 Leaders of Environmental Health. Dr. El-Ahraf is the co-author of The Impact of Public Policy on Environmental Quality & Public Health: The Case of Land Use Management & Planning, & Management of Animal Waste: Environmental Health Problems & Technological Solutions, as well as numerous papers & presentations.
#6 Interfaith Panel on Creation Care
Rev. Margaret Mohit, Rev. Gary Collins,
Arinder Chadha, MD, and Margaret Mapes
Moderator: Mike Kilroy, OCICE Board Member
In June of 2008, OCICE developed the Creation Protection Agreement & called on all O.C. Houses of Worship to not only sign the Agreement, but also implement the practice of Caring for Creation in their Houses of Worship. In this workshop, you will learn from the clergy members who have taken steps necessary to tread lightly on the Earth, as well as to teach their congregation the importance of Caring for Creation.
The four panelists are among the first congregations to sign the OCICE Creation Protection Agreement.
The Rev. Margaret Mohit has served as minister of Unity Spiritual Life Center in Laguna Hills since her ordination in 1984. She majored in theology at Mt. St. Mary ’s College in Los Angeles, CA & finished her graduate work at Unity Ministerial School, Unity Village, MO.
The Rev. Gary Collins has served as Pastor at St. Mark for 19 years. Rev. Collins received his Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Seminary, & Doctor of Ministry from Eden Seminary in St. Louis.
Dr. Arinder Chadha specializes in Internal Medicine. During his free time, he serves as co-director of interfaith activities for the Buena Park Sikh Council.
Margaret Mapes is the Assistant Director of Operations at St. Joseph Center of Orange. She received her Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Phoenix. Margaret became involved in environmental issues as a result of her work, participating on the Green Team at Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange.