Convergence of Thought

Chautauqua tackles sustainability, climate, food and more.

Jim Kunstler keeps a blog called the Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle, and his latest book, The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century, depicts a startling post-cheap-fossil-fuel future in which the American way of life — suburbia — crumbles, along with our economy, as the world endures a grueling contest for scarce resources and survival.

His is just the kind of loud, impassioned voice you’d expect from a Chautauqua Grand Convergence of big thinkers discussing the biggest issue of the day. The 110-year-old Chautauqua Park, a national historic landmark in Boulder that embodies the Chautauqua Movement principles of lifelong learning, simplicity, love of nature, music, oration and the arts, is hosting the grand event today to raise money and awareness.

The gathering begins with a $5 forum titled “Climate and Energy Action Heroes” from 10 a.m. to noon in the auditorium. Panelists include Hank Brown and Gary Hart, representing both sides of the political fence, along with professors, scientists and journalist Kunstler. “It promises to be a great debate,” says Chautauqua marketing director Denise Link. “Kunstler has a very negative view about the future and will present his views in an uncensored way. If you go to his blog, you’ll understand.” At 12:15 p.m. there’s a $10 Texado barbecue lunch, followed by free expert forums on “Changing the Climate,” “Power of and for the People” and “The Future of Food,” from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in the community house. Chautauqua is at 900 Baseline Road. For more details on, and tickets to, the Grand Convergence, go to www.chautauqua.com. But don’t wait: At the last sustainability forum held here, the community house was overflowing.
Sat., Sept. 20, 10 a.m., 2008

 
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