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Bioneers Conference Speakers to Address ‘Wicked’ Problem of Climate Justice

Climate change has been called a “wicked” problem because it involves the global economy, the failure of governments to take democratic action, and the tremendous inequality that exists in the world today. The keynote speakers at the 2014 Central Coast Bioneers Conference, however, are excited about the future and believe there is much cause for hope.

John Foran
UCSB professor John Foran

John Foran, a professor of sociology at UC Santa Barbara, will present “Toward a Just Climate Future” at 5:30 p.m. at the SLO Grange Hall on Friday, Oct. 24.

He will be joined by Corrie Ellis and Summer Gray, two Ph.D. candidates in sociology at UCSB. The trio have attended the U.N. Climate Conventions all over the world and are recently back from and will report on the People’s Climate March in New York City last month. Gray will premiere an abridged version of her new film, Not Yet the End of the World.

Dr. Foran and Ellis were recently interviewed on the KCBX show Issues & Ideas about this issue. Foran has studied social movements on a global scale and is the author of Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Present and Taking Power: On the Origins of Third World Revolutions.

The three legs of this wicked problem “are all interconnected and climate change exacerbates them,” Foran explains. “Working on climate or any of these issues affects everything else in a positive way, so there is potential for synergistic changes on a transformational level.”

Foran says that those involved in the climate movement are very excited about the possibilities of a better future. Ellis, an activist with and research associate with the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory was asked by Issues & Ideas host Marisa Waddel about her work on the Global Youth Climate Justice Movement and whether she feels there is any cause for hope.

“As a young person,” she answered, “I can’t think of any other way to be. It’s our future and our life we’re talking about.”

Tickets for the keynote address are $10 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased separately or as part of the entire conference online by clicking here or at the door at the SLO Grange, 2880 Broad St.

Ecologistics Inc., a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, hosts the annual Central Coast Bioneers Conference in San Luis Obispo every October. Other projects include the Dreaming the Salinas Initiative, the Community Café project in conjunction with the SLO County Food System Coalition, and the SLO Down Cancer project with the Noor Clinic to provide free cancer screening for residents of SLO County. Ecologistics also operates the Blue C Community Garden in Los Osos.

— Stacey Hunt represents Central Coast Bioneers.

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