Public lecture series

Wednesday, November 5, 6:30 pm | Climatologist Raymond Bradley

Wednesday, November 19, 6:30 pm | Author Charles Mann

Wednesday, December 3, 6:30 pm | Author Kathy Harrison

Talks are free and open to the public, and will take place at the Sunderland Public Library at 20 School Street, Sunderland, MA. Co-sponsored by the Sunderland Public Library and the Conway School.


Raymond-BradleyWednesday, November 5, 6:30 pm
Climatologist Raymond Bradley

Global temperatures have risen by ~1.8°F since the end of the 19th century. These changes have been driven by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels. The carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere is now the highest it has been for over 3 million years. As more heat accumulates in the oceans, sea level keeps rising as glaciers and ice caps melt. The oceans are becoming more acidic as carbon dioxide is absorbed from the atmosphere.

Although taking steps to address the matter is difficult, many countries have embraced the opportunity to reduce energy consumption, implement conservation strategies and promote new technologies that involve energy production from non-carbon based fuels.

Raymond S. Bradley is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geosciences and the Director of the Climate System Research Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author or coauthor of more than 170 scientific papers and numerous books, including Global Warming and Political Intimidation. Photo courtesy UMass.


Charles-MannWednesday, November 19, 6:30 pm
Author Charles Mann

Charles Mann, author of the books 1491 and 1493 published an article this spring in The Atlantic titled “What Happens If We Never Run Out of Oil?“, which explores the possibility of extracting abundant supplies of natural gas, mainly through fracking and through the development of methane hydrate, a crystalline natural gas.

Methane burns much cleaner than coal, which is its main virtue, though burning it still produces carbon dioxide. However, methane itself is a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Developing methane hydrate as a source of plentiful natural gas could be a blessing—and a curse. A miracle—and a nightmare.


Kathy-HarrisonWednesday, December 3, 6:30 pm
Author Kathy Harrison

Author Kathy Harrison discusses disaster preparedness and the role of community. Kathy is author of  Just In Case: How to Be Self-Sufficient When the Unexpected Happens. She became interested in preparedness when she and her husband were caretakers of the William Cullen Bryant homestead in Cummington, miles from the nearest store. For Kathy, preparedness is an empowering, community activity that includes resilient local food systems.