The Five Thousand Pound Life: Climate Change in the American Mind

Wednesday, October 02, 2013, 7:00pm - 9:00pm

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Image via Flickr User London Permaculture

Image via Flickr User London Permaculture

In the opening event of The Five Thousand Pound Life, an initiative of public events, digital releases and a major design study by the Architectural League of New YorkAnthony Leiserowitz, an expert on public opinion about climate change and the environment, will frame the different ways in which Americans perceive the threat of climate change, how we understand our collective and individual capacity to address it, and how willing we are to act on our understanding. Leiserowitz will dissect and examine the underlying values that are reflected in our various views of climate change, and the extent to which our views are based on cultural predispositions rather than scientific data. As the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, Anthony Leiserowitz has led research studies, repeated over a number of years, that have identified “six Americas,” each responding differently to climate change. His work is based on the premise that communication about climate change can only be effective if it is based on an understanding of the factors that influence how that communication is received.

Following his talk, Leiserowitz will discuss the implications of his research with Dale Jamieson, Paul Lewis, and Kate Orff. Dale Jamieson is professor of environmental studies and philosophy at New York University and author of the forthcoming Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle to Stop Climate Change Failed–and Why Our Choices Still Matter. Paul Lewis is a principal of LTL Architects and a faculty member in the School of Architecture at Princeton University. Landscape architect Kate Orff is a principal of SCAPE/Landscape Architecture and a faculty member in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. Their discussion will address how the diversity of our values and understandings of climate change affect our individual and collective capacity to act, and will draw out the significance of this spectrum of views for actions affecting the built environment.

Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., is a research scientist at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. He is an expert on public opinion about climate change and the environment. His research investigates the psychological, cultural, and political factors that influence environmental attitudes, policy support, and behavior. He conducts research at the global, national, and local scales, including many surveys of the American public. He also conducted the first study of worldwide public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sustainability, including environmental protection, economic prosperity, and human development.  He has served as a consultant to the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), the United Nations Development Program, the Gallup World Poll, and the World Economic Forum.

FREE TO CURRENT COOPER UNION STUDENTS/FACULTY/STAFF AND ARCHITECTURAL LEAGUE MEMBERS.

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Presented by the Architectural League of New York and hosted by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture.

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.