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Old Ways and New Ideas: Drawing Upon Traditional Cultures To Reverse Climate Change

October 7, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

| $5 – $10

With Malcolm Margolin, Paul Hawken and Friends; including Michelle La Pena (Pit River Tribe), Susan Masten (Yurok) and Claire Greensfelder

Two of California’s most radical, provocative, and influential thinkers bring a lifetime of work to bear on the greatest problem ever confronted by our species: climate change. The challenges the human race faces are of such magnitude that to solve them will involve rethinking some of our deepest cultural values, assumptions, and ways of being. In his book Deep Hanging Out: Wanderings and Wonderment in Native California, Bay Nature co-founder Malcolm Margolin recounts a lifetime spent among Native Americans, listening to stories, making friendships, and absorbing wisdom and traditional ecological knowledge. Paul Hawken, in his NY Times best-selling new book Regeneration, brings forth a contemporary vision both practical and far-reaching. Like Malcolm and Paul, Northern California indigenous leader Susan Masten (Yurok) and native rights attorney Michelle La Pena (Pit River Paiute) have been directly and creatively addressing environmental concerns faced by tribes, the state of California and indeed, the entire world for decades.

While it is naive to assume that we can turn the clock back, there are many Native land management practices, such as controlled burns, that can be used today. But perhaps more significantly, sustainability is built into every aspect of Indian culture. Indigenous social values, spiritual life, and economic and political institutions all combined to sustain an ethic of care and responsibility.

Join Paul, Malcolm, Susan and Michelle online on Thursday evening October 7th, as they weave their experiences into a fresh, provocative, energizing, and attainable vision of the future. while they explore the underlying technologies, world views, and social and economic structures that enabled Native people to live prosperous, and by and large equitable lives for thousands of years and to hear about real solutions to the current climate crisis.

Claire Greensfelder, our evening’s moderator has been engaged in climate protection advocacy and collaboration with indigenous peoples in local to global campaigns since the early 1980’s. She’s participated as a delegate to 13 negotiating sessions for the UN Climate Conference since the preparations for the Rio Earth Summit in 1991 and is a co-founder of the Women’s Global Call for Climate Justice. Claire is currently collaborating with Malcolm Margolin to develop innovative and joyful projects and programs for the California Institute for Community, Art & Nature – our program’s co-sponsor.

This very special evening will take place over Zoom.

To receive an invitation to the event, please sign up using the Eventbrite link below. You will receive an invitation and Zoom link the day before the event. If you have not received a Zoom link by the day before the event, please contact us at

Free for Mechanics’ Institute members and co-sponsors.

General Public sliding scale, $5 or $10.
Register now