Earth Day 2007
Photograph courtesy of Howard Ruby


The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management and the Community Environmental Council (CEC) of Santa Barbara are joining a variety of partners, including UCSB Arts & Lectures, to present a range of on- and off-campus activities leading up to Earth Day 2007. Earth Day takes place on Sunday April 22, and the theme for this year’s celebration is “Global Warming: Change Begins with Learning.” Below is a preliminary listing of activities; visit the CEC website for a complete listing of Earth Day events. Please join us over the next few months to look closely at the most important environmental issues of our time and share the groundbreaking work being done to find solutions and ensure sustainable living.

Also, please note the following two items, the dates of which will be announced soon.

UCTV Series: Bren Faculty Address Earth Day 2007 Theme

Bren School faculty and their solution-focused research will be highlighted in a four-part series of interviews for UCTV, the cable and online television network of the University of California. Each segment of the series – to be aired in February, March, and April – will feature a representative of the Community Environmental Council of Santa Barbara interviewing a Bren faculty member about a specific aspect of climate change. Visit this page soon for a list of featured Bren faculty and their topics of discussion.

A New Coastline Downtown? 

How high will sea level rise if Greenland’s glaciers disappear? Up to seven meters, say scientists. The lightblueline project involves making this point real by painting an actual blue line across Santa Barbara streets that lie at an elevation seven meters above current sea level. The intention is to demonstrate that “human-induced climate change will, if we do not act now, create a new climate, and a new coastline.” The project, created in Santa Barbara with the slogan “Drawing the line against human-induced climate change,” is meant to “transform the science of global climate change into a public action.” Organizers hope the idea will spread to coastal cities around the world. Date of the lightblueline’s appearance to be announced. An art exhibit to be held at Studio 3 Gallery from 5-8 pm on Feb. 1 will feature Tom Huston's "Global Warming Postcards" displaying views of how Santa Barbara would appear given a seven-meter rise in sea level; upstairs, 3 East De La Guerra, downtown Santa Barbara, 452-6562.



Wednesday, Jan. 24, 4-5 pm – Davidson Library, UCSB

“UCSB Reads for Earth Day ”

The Bren School joins UCSB libraries, other campus entities, and the Santa Barbara Public Library to present “UCSB Reads for Earth Day,” a UCSB community-wide shared-reading experience to kick off Earth Day 2007. (Some 3,000 free copies of the book Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change, by Elizabeth Kolbert (Bloomsbury, 2006) will be distributed to UCSB students beginning Jan. 25 from 8 am until 5 pm in the main lobby of Davidson Library, along with bookmarks that feature the Earth Day image of a polar bear foraging on a snowless Arctic beach and a list of other books of interest.) The event is intended to raise awareness of climate change issues while creating a shared reading experience that involves the entire UCSB community in Earth Day 2007. (The Santa Barbara Library is sponsoring a parallel event for the greater Santa Barbara community.) A discussion of the book will be held April 17 at the main branch of the Santa Barbara Library (see below), and Field Notes author Kolbert will speak at UCSB on April 19 as part of a four-part lecture series (see below).

Monday Feb. 5 – Campell Hall, UCSB, 8 pm

“How Can We Avoid Dangerous Human-Made Climate Change?”

Dr. James Hansen, head of the NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies

In the first presentation in this free four-part ???Global Warming ??? Science & Society??? lecture series leading up to Earth Day, Dr. Hansen, described by Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, as “one of the most productive and creative scientists in the world,” addresses anthropogenic climate change and what we can do about it. Presented jointly in cooperation with UCSB Arts & Lectures, the Environmental Studies Program, the Marine Science Institute, the departments of Earth Science, Geography, and Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology.


Friday/Saturday Feb. 9-10 – Corwin Pavilion, University Center, UCSB

C2C – Emerging Energy Technologies Summit

Participating in two panel discussions, Bren School Dean Ernst von Weizsäcker will join an impressive group of international experts to take an unbiased look at how our nation might make the transition from dependency on carbon-based fuels to a sustainable, alternative fuels-based future. Speakers at the two-day Summit will present possible alternative energy solutions, examine the trade-offs and barriers associated with bringing these solutions to market, and work to develop ways of overcoming those barriers.


Thursday March 8 – Corwin Pavilion, University Center, UCSB, 8 pm

“Energy Trends and Technologies for the Coming Decades”

Dr. Steve E. Koonin, British Petroleum and the California Institute of Technology

The former Provost at Cal Tech, a longtime Professor of Theoretical Physics there, and the current Chief Scientist for British Petroleum (BP), Dr. Koonin will take the podium as the second speaker in a four-part ???Global Warming ??? Science & Society??? lecture series presented in collaboration with UCSB Arts & Lectures. Dr. Koonin will discuss global climate issues with a focus on energy, which he describes as “one of the most important problems facing society.”


Tuesday April 17 – Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Public Library, Downtown Santa Barbara

“Santa Barbara Reads for Earth Day” Book Discussion

Join a community discussion of Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change, as Santa Barbara prepares for Earth Day 2007. Presented by the Bren School, its UCSB Earth Day partners, and the Santa Barbara Public Library.


Wednesday April 18 – Monday April 23

Santa Barbara Goes Polar

Earth Day banners carrying a powerful image related to global warming will be seen lining State Street during the week leading up to Earth Day. The image, created by Bren School supporter and outdoor photographer Howard Ruby during one of several trips he made to the animals’ polar habitats, depicts a lone polar bear searching for food on a nearly snowless Arctic beach. The picture testifies to the effects of global warming, which is diminishing ice flows critical to the mating and hunting practices – and thus, the continued survival – of these beautiful and charismatic creatures.

The 125 polar bear banners, part of the regularly changing flags in the Santa Barbara Downtown Organization’s State Street Flag Project, represent the inauguration of the polar bear as a powerful symbol of global warming that highlights the demonstrable impacts of climate change on the Arctic, one of Earth’s most environmentally sensitive regions. 


Thursday April 19, 8 pm – Campbell Hall, UCSB

Elizabeth Kolbert, author, Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change

The author of the book that was selected for “UCSB Reads” and made the list of the top 50 reads for 2006 speaks at the third event of the four-part “Global Warming – Science & Society” lecture series presented in collaboration with UCSB Arts & Lectures. Kolbert is a former New York Times political reporter and has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1999.


Sunday April 22, 10 am - 5:30 pm – Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens

Earth Day
The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, less than a year after an enormous oil spill blackened Santa Barbara beaches and devastated local marine life. Earth Day was the vision of Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson, who, had been working since 1963 to find a way to raise national awareness of environmental issues. The partnership between the Bren School and the Community Environmental Council in presenting Earth Day 2007 reflects the strong both organizations’ strong desire to celebrate the Earth and ensure, through education and research, that solutions to environmental problems are developed and implemented locally, nationally, and globally to preserve the health and prosperity of the planet for future generations.


Saturday April 28, 12-6 pm – Corwin Pavilion, University Center, UCSB

Media and the Environment Conference

What role does the media play in the environment? Which stories get covered, and which don’t? How does coverage shape societal perceptions about environmental issues? These and other related questions are at the heart of this engaging participatory event presented by the Environmental Media Initiative of the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media.