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Listening to the Earth: A Public Symposium, April 7-10, 1979

Listening to the Earth: The Bioregional Basis of Community Consciousness

A Public Symposium, April 7-10, 1979, San Francisco

Our Society is Heading in Two Conflicting Directions. One of these is the attempt to preserve regional culture, community identity, natural resources and political autonomy. The second retains the impetus of the Industrial Revolution and involves an expanding economy, increased urbanization, and the spread of what might be called a global and largely homogeneous way of life. The conflict between these is expressing itself in some of the most crucial issues of our time—crises in energy, natural resources, growth and development, and cultural priorities.

California is Proving to be a Major Testing Ground for the Resolution of these Issues. All of us living here are being affected by the kinds of energy choices being made; by conflicts between industrial development and environmental protection; by rapid technological innovation; and by the struggle to maintain a sense of community and cultural identity. In both voter referenda and public debate, California has been the stage of a number of initial confrontations regarding these issues.

These Issues Exist within a Bioregional Context. All of the activities of human society are ultimately supported by the Earth’s biosphere, the web of life which covers the planet with the essential air, water, plants, animals and materials our lives require. Our lives and the life of the planet come together in bioregions, “home places” united by particular natural characteristics and human influences which are specific to these locales. Relating these issues to the specific nature of the Northern California bioregion may open up new possibilities for resolution.

What Could a Bioregional Perspective Hope to Achieve? Could it emphasize diversity, seek solutions to our problems that are place-specific? Could it also emphasize unity in attempting to reestablish a sense of connectedness between urban, suburban and rural locales? Could it relate these locales to the natural systems that they all share? Finally, could it extend the concept of local identity to include a recognition of planetary interdependence?

This is what we seek to explore.

On April 7, 8, 9 and 10 leading environmental thinkers, representatives of government agencies, scholars in the humanities, innovators in alternative energy and agriculture, social critics and authors will meet in a public symposium to address these issues, and to examine what possibilities exist for social and individual action.

You are invited to join them in that effort.

Admission to all four days of the conference is S10. It will be held at the First Unitarian Church and at Fort Mason, in San Francisco.

SATURDAY, APRIL 7

First Unitarian Church, Starr King Room

10:00 a.m. . .Reception

10:30 a.m. . .KEYNOTE ADDRESS:

Finding Our Way Back into

the Northern California Bioregion

DR. RAYMOND F. DASMANN, Environmental Studies

University of California, Santa Cruz

1:00 p.m. . . . .Music—Moiré Pulse

2:00 p.m. . . . .T’ai Chi Ch’uan—Bing Jiang

2:30 p.m. . . . .How Energy Choices Affect

Communities

JERRY YUDELSON, Director, SolarCal, State of California

PANEL DISCUSSION

Grounding: New Approaches to the

Problem of Energy

DR. DAVID KUBRIN, Historian of Science

PETER SCHWARTZ, Portola Institute and SRI

JIM HARDING, Friends of the Earth

8:00 p.m. . . . .INTRODUCTORY

GATHERING:

Energy is Eternal Delight

Fort Mason, Building 312, Room 3H

An inexpensive lunch concession will be available during all four days of the conference. Day care provided during conference sessions.

SUNDAY, APRIL 8

Fort Mason, Building 312, Room 3H

Technology, Diversity and

Bioregional Identity

MORNING SESSION

10:00 a.m. . .Technological Influences on American

Culture

JERRY MANDER, author, Four Arguments for the Elimination

of Television

Panelists

DR. MARTIN JAY, History, University of California,

Berkeley

DR. MORRIS BERMAN, Humanities, University of San

Francisco

SANDY CLOSE, Pacific News Service

PAUL RYAN, video artist; editor, Talking Wood

AFTERNOON SESSION

2:00 p.m. . . . .Authenticity and Nativeness

DR. JACK FORBES, Native American Studies, University of

California, Davis

Panelists

PETER BERG, Planet Drum Foundation

RASA GUSTAITIS, Pacific News Service

DR. ROBERT CURRY, Geology, University of Montana

The First Unitarian Church is located at 1187 Franklin Street (at Geary Blvd.) The address of Fort Mason is Laguna and Marina Blvd.

MONDAY, APRIL 9

Fort Mason, Building 312, Room 3H

Rediscovering Northern California

MORNING SESSION

10:00 a.m. . .Our Place in the Water Cycle

PETER WARSHALL, watershed consultant

Panelists

RUSSELL CAHILL, Director, California Department of Parks

and Recreation

DR. RODERICK NASH, History, University of California,

Santa Barbara

DR. PHILLIP LEVEEN, Agricultural Economics, University

of California, Berkeley

AFTERNOON SESSION

2:00 p.m. . . . .Revisioning Natural Resources Policy

Panelists

DAVID SIMPSON, Mattole Valley Community Center

TOMAS FRICKE, alternative energy consultant

CHRISTOPHER SWAN, author YV-88

LINN HOUSE, Planet Drum Foundation

Tickets for the conference may be obtained by mailing the coupon at right, along with a check or money order, to Planet Drum Foundation, P.O. Box 31251, San Francisco, CA 94131.

TUESDAY, APRIL 10

Fort Mason, Building 312, Room 3H

Alternative Directions in Growth and Development

MORNING SESSION

10.00 a.m. . .The Conflict between Unity and Growth

DR. CRAIG SCHINDLER, Environmental Studies, University

of California, Santa Cruz

Panelists

LEE SWENSON, Director, Farallones Institute

LYNN NELSON, Director, The Habitat Center

CHARLES R. LEWIS, IV, Association of Bay Area

Governments

EUGENE WEDELL, Wedell Group Architects

AFTERNOON SESSION

2:00 p.m. . . . .A New Context for Growth and

Development

Panelists

GARY SNYDER, poet and social critic

ERNEST CALLENBACH, author, Ecotopia

MURRAY BOOKCHIN, Director, Goddard College

Institute for Social Ecology

STEPHANIE MILLS, free-lance writer and editor

PETER BERG, Planet Drum Foundation

8:00 p.m. . . . .Poems and Stories of Place

Fort Mason, Building 312, Room 3H

GARY SNYDER, LENORE KANDEL, JAMES DODGE,

JERRY MARTIEN, and others.

Admission $3.00

CREDITS

Co-Directors. . .

PETER BERG,

MORRIS BERMAN

Advisory Committee. . .

RAYMOND F. DASMAN, LINN HOUSE,

JERRY YUDELSON

Art. . .

MICHAEL MYERS

Design. . .

SHARPSHOOTER STUDIOS, Berkeley, CA

Typesetting. . .

RANDOLPH-HARRIS, INC., Berkeley, CA

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