7 ways books change the world and celebration in Berkeley

Environmental books on shelfThe importance of books

In today’s world there is an urgent need for new ideas and fresh perspectives to spur positive social change and to protect the planet.

Books are important for:

  1. Telling stories that illuminate a social problem and its causes and effects.
  2. Amplifying voices of the people experiencing a problem.
  3. Describing and analyzing research, responses and proposed solutions to a problem.
  4. Offering expert understanding and external evidence.
  5. Giving historical context to a social problem.
  6. Generating public attention through author events, public radio interviews and other venues.
  7. Influencing actions by lawmakers and policy makers to help solve problems.

Bay Area Book Festival

This weekend in Berkeley, California, book enthusiasts will find 280 local, national, and international authors and speakers in 120 literary sessions (panels, interviews, keynotes, and performances) for the second annual Bay Area Book Festival.  The festival’s founder, Cherilyn Parsons, is a longtime communications specialist, fundraiser, novelist and book reviewer. From 2008 until 2012, she served as the Director of Development and Strategic Initiatives with the Center for Investigative Reporting, based in Berkeley.

Events featuring environmental issues

If you are interested in environmental topics, here are five events you should check out (register to save a seat). Four panels are taking place at the David Brower Center.  One event will feature a program for teens at the nearby Marsh Cabaret in downtown Berkeley.

Ecosystems of CaliforniaEcosystems of California: 1,008 Pages on Ecology in the Golden State
10 a.m. Saturday, June 4
David Brower Center, Goldman Theater

A senior statesman of scientific research today, Stanford University’s Hal Mooney has partnered with UC Santa Cruz’s Erika Zavaletta to conceive, edit, and produce a monumental achievement — a 1,008-page volume of cutting-edge research on all of California’s ecosystems. This panel discussion will address Mooney’s and Zavaleta’s concept of ecology, how the functions of ecosystems have changed over time, and how science continues to understand their fragility and independence. Expert researchers and contributors to the volume will be joining the panel: Hugh Safford on fire; J. Letitia Grenier on the Delta; and Mary Power on rivers and dams. Local award-winning environmental journalist Mary Ellen Hannibal will moderate.

Sun, Soil, Water, Food: How Climate Change Impacts What We Grow and Eat
11:45 a.m. Saturday, June 4
David Brower Center, Tamalpais Room

Writing in a variety of genres, authors Anna Lappé, Mark Schapiro, and Tess Taylor address the ways in which our farms can evolve and survive under conditions that are being altered profoundly by climate change. Ann Thrupp, executive director of the Berkeley Food Institute, leads the conversation.

Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American LandscapeTrace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape
1:30 p.m. Sunday, June 5th
David Brower Center, Goldman Theater

Three provocative writers of color, Lauret Savoy, Elmaz Abinader, and Faith Adiele,  explore how our country’s still unfolding history and ideas of “race” have marked the land and us. They consider how to make sense of our land’s troubled past and what it means to inhabit terrains of memory.

Walk the Earth in Our ShoesThe Environment and Us: Teenage Authors on Ecosystems and Their World
11:45 a.m. Sunday, June 5
The Marsh Cabaret

Ninth and tenth grade authors from 826 Valencia, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center for Bay Area youth, discuss their new book, “Walk the Earth in Our Shoes & Plant Some Seeds Behind You.

Tipping Point for Planet EarthTipping Point for Planet Earth: How Close Are We to the Edge?
3:15 PM, Sunday, June 5
David Brower Center, Goldman Theater

This session will feature a discussion of the book: Tipping Point for Planet Earth. Moderator Mary Ellen Hannibal will lead a conversation with the book’s co-authors, Anthony D. Barnosky, and Elizabeth A. Hadly. Dr. Barnosky is a principal investigator and professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley. Dr. Hadly is a professor in the Department of Biology at Stanford University.

Ideas, news and resources to spark creative thinking, action and progress for social and environmental causes