The Harvard Club of Santa Barbara, in conjunction with the Community Environmental Council (CEC) and the Wilderness Youth Project (WYP), present Exploring Climate Change & Culture Shift, an evening with UCSB Professor Ken Hiltner, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, at Alhecama Theater, 215A E. Canon Perdido St.

The lecture begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by a reception with vegetarian appetizers and non-alcoholic beverages. Attendees are asked to bring their own reusable bottle.
Entry is $10. Space is limited to 140 seats; tickets are available at
Hiltner teaches a popular class at UCSB that explores the range of human activities and cultural norms exacerbating climate change.

“Climate change is caused by a range of troubling human activities that require the release of greenhouse gases, such as our obsessions with endless consumer goods, cars, certain foods, and lifestyle choices,” Hiltner said.

“The natural sciences may be able to tell us howthese activities are changing our climate, but not why we are engaging in them. That’s a job for the humanities and social sciences,” he said.

Hiltner believes anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change is a human problem brought about by human actions. He also believes humans can be the solution.

“Professor Hiltner has a unique ability to explain what must change if we as a society are going to address climate change,” said club member Dan Fishbein. “His talk will cover what we as individuals can do, and how he helped put practices into place at UCSB that put it on track to meet the University of California’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2025.”

“We are excited to partner with Harvard Club of Santa Barbara on this important event,” said Kathi King, CEC director of outreach and education. “We all need to participate in actions that help our climate and Dr. Hiltner’s approach is accessible, engaging and empowering.”

“Supporting discussions like these helps make our work possible,” said Anthony Hickling, assistant director of development at the Wilderness Youth Project. “Connecting with and understanding nature is a vital childhood experience that we work to promote and preserve for future generations.”

Hiltner received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, where he garnered several distinctions as a researcher and teaching fellow, including the Bowdoin Prize. He has written a number of books and articles, mostly on Renaissance literature, ecocriticism, and the intersection of the two.

He has served as director of the Literature and the Environment Center, the Early Modern Center, and was chair of the graduate program.

Before becoming an English professor, Hiltner made his living as a furniture-maker. As a second-generation woodworker, he received commissions from five continents and had collections featured in major metropolitan galleries.

The Harvard Club of Santa Barbara sponsors a variety of annual activities, among them talks by current Harvard faculty and local Harvard alums, informal lunches and discussions at local clubs and restaurants, social events, outings, tours, and community service events.

Direct questions to King at

— Kathi King for Community Environmental Council.