Monday, November 15, 2010

Portage Library to host environmental community discussion Nov. 17

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library will host author Michael P. Nelson at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17, as he presents "Why it’s wrong to wreck the world: What do we owe the future?"

Michael P. Nelson believes that while climate disruption and environmental degradation are scientific and technological issues, they are fundamentally moral issues.

"They call us to actions grounded in justice and integrity," Nelson explains.

Drawing on essays from his new co-edited book MORAL GROUND: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, Nelson will tell what he and co-editor Kathleen Dean Moore learned when they asked one hundred of the world’s visionaries the urgent question, "What do we owe the future?" Nelson and Moore are calling for a national conversation about our personal and collective responsibilities to the future. With guest readers, stories, music by local musicians from the band Rhythm 203, and several philosophical adventures, Nelson shows why technological fixes are not enough. He explores reasons why it’s wrong to leave behind a ransacked and dangerously unstable world and suggests novel ideas for how we might act in ways worthy of us as moral beings.

Copies of his book will be available for purchase after the program.

Nelson holds a joint appointment as an associate professor of environmental ethics and philosophy in the Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. In addition to many essays and articles, he is the co-author or co-editor of four books. Nelson is also resident philosopher of the Isle Royale wolf/moose project and spends part of each summer working with the animal ecologists on the island. He is the co-creator and co-director of the Conservation Ethics Group, an environmental ethics and problem solving consultancy group. Nelson’s research and teaching focus is environmental ethics and philosophy, and he holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Lancaster University, England.

Library programs are free and everyone is invited. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit

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