Here’s fascinating seminar, happening later this week:

Resilience in the Face of Climate Change and Peak Oil: Community-Building Responses
for an Equitable Transition to a Low-Carbon Society

Blake Poland, Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, UofT

THUR FEBRUARY 11, 4:10 p.m, Room 108, Health Sciences Building, 155 College St., at McCaul St, University of Toronto

The world, and North America in particular, is entering a period of unprecedented change. There is mounting evidence of the potential for (and pressure for action to avoid) catastrophic runaway climate change, unprecedented species extinctions and environmental degradation, the persistence (if not growth) of alarming inequities in health, and accelerated resource depletion. By many estimates we currently possess most of the technological know-how to solve the world’s fiscal, economic, environmental, social justice and climatological crises. In other words, the problem is not technical but social. Consensus is emerging that building resilience at 3 nested levels (psychological/ personal, community, systems level) is or must be at the centre of convergent social justice and environmental social change movements. Resilience is widely understood to refer to the ability of communities, persons, or systems to withstand shocks or stress without collapse, and perhaps the ability to accept and embrace (as opposed to resist) change. We are an interdisciplinary team principally from Canada and Brazil and we are working on the development of an arts-enabled transformative learning curriculum on the transition to a low-carbon society for application in educational and community settings, that draws on paradigms and sources of knowledge from the Global South and the Global North. We will describe work in progress.

Blake Poland is an Associate Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Co-Director of the Environmental Health Justice in the City Research Interest Group (Centre for Urban Health Initiatives), and co-principal investigator in the CUHI-funded Building Community Resilience pilot project. His work draws on complexity science, critical social theory, arts-enabled approaches, environmental justice, community development, and health promotion.

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