Climate Change Dialogue Series

"Sustainability" or Survival? Popular Responses to Global Climate Change

Spring 2015 lecture series -- University of Pittsburgh

A 5-part video dialogue series with international and local leaders of NGOs highlighting effective mobilization efforts to protect themselves from the effects of global warming and to promote climate justice. The series will identify how climate change and environmental problems disproportionately affect already-vulnerable communities, the limitations of government, UN-based, "free-market," or technological attempts to address climate change, and the resulting rise of pupular movements that promote more sustainable futures and all forms of climate and environmental justice.

Thursday, January 22

Confronting Environmental Racism: View from the Front Lines of the Climate Justice Struggle

(view recording here)

SpeakersJacqueline Patterson, Environmental and Climate Justice Director, NAACP and Ahmina MaxeyZero Waste Detroit

Suggested readings:

Mock, Brentin (2014) “How Environmental Justice Fared in 2014 – and the Outlook for 2015” 30 December.


Patterson, Jacqui (2010) “Your Take: Climate Change Is a Civil Rights Issue” The Slate Group. 23 April.

Patterson, Jacqui (2009) “Natural Disasters, Climate Change Uproot Women of Color” On The Issues Magazine.

Thursday, February 5

Global Climate Politics: Paralysis Above and Movement Below

(view recording here)

SpeakerCindy Wiesner, Director of Grassroots Global Justice Alliance

Suggested readings:

Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing. 1996.

Bond, Patrick. 2011. "From Copenhagen to Cancun to Durban: Moving Deckchairs on the Climate Titanic." Capitalism Nature Socialism 22:3-26 (please noteuniversity students have to access the article through Hillman library via Interlibrary Loan)

Davey, Melissa, Vaughn, Adam, and Amanda Holpuch (2014) “People’s Climate March – Thousands Around the World Demand Action – As It Happened” The Guardian. 21 September.

The Guardian (2015) “The Guardian View on Paris 2015: the World’s Last Best Chance to Reach an Agreement on Cutting Carbon Emissions” 1 January.

Podesta, P.J. and Laura Smith (2014) “The Changing Face of Climate Change” Slate. 22 September.

Thursday, February 12

Putting Climate Justice into Action

(view recording here)

SpeakersHenia Belalia, National Organizer, Peaceful Uprising and Nadine NarindrankuraDiné activist fighting to defend coal impacted communities in the Black Mesa/Big Mountain Region


Suggested readings:

Spaces of Intentionality: Race, Class, and Horizontality at the United States Social Forum (PDF) Jeffrey S. Juris (2008). Mobilization 13(4): 353-372. 


On the emerging and advancing critiques of the "nonprofit industrial complex"
CIVICUS: An open letter to our fellow activists across the globe: Building from below and beyond borders. 

Broken Rainbow [film]. 1985. Earthworks films. Video available online.

Facebook site for the Diné "Walk for Existence" across Navajo territories to protest resource colonization

Rapley, Chris (2014) “Climate change is not just about science – it’s about the future we want to create” The Guardian. 22 Nov. 

Satgar, Vishwas (2014) “The Climate is Right for Social Change” Mail & Guardian. 17 December.

McKibben, Bill (2013) “The Fossil Fuel Resistance” Rolling Stone. 25 April.

Thursday, February 26

Culture Against Climate Change

(view recording here)

SpeakerRev. Lennox Yearwood JrHip Hop Caucus and Michael Leon Guerrero, Executive Director, Our Power Campaign

Suggested readings:

Videos from the New School's Climate Action Week and People's Climate Justice Summit (Our Power)


People’s Climate Justice Summit (Our Power)

Kozlowska, Hanna (2014) “The Climate Movement Is About Much More Than Just Climate” New York Times. 23 September.

“People’s Climate Music” (2014) Hip Hop Caucus.

Podesta, P.J. and Laura Smith (2014) “The Changing Face of Climate Change” Slate. 22 September.

“The Fossil Fuel Resistance: The New Green Heroes” (2013) Rolling Stone. 11 April. 

Thursday, March 26

Pittsburgh Activists for Climate Justice

SpeakersFred Brown, Associate Director of Program Development, Kingsley Association & Larimer Green Team and Randy Francisco, Sierra Club Senior Organizing Representative, Pennsylvania - Coal to Clean Energy Campaign


Suggested readings:

The Breathe Project (2014) “About” 


Hopey, Don (2014) “Climate Change To Boost Health Problems” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 25 May. 

Hopey, Don (2012) “Allegheny County Got an Earful on Toxic Air Standards” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 14 August.

Sponsored by Global Studies Center, Department of Sociology, Environmental Studies and Urban Studies. Supported by the Office of the Provost and the Year of Sustainability.

Copyright 2018 | Global Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh