CFP: Ecological restoration and human flourishing in the era of anthropogenic climate change. September 5-7, 2008, Clemson University.

Sponsored by Clemson University Restoration Institute, College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities, School of the Environment, Rutland Institute for Ethics, and Department of Philosophy and Religion

Reports this year from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change place it beyond reasonable doubt that humans are largely responsible for global warming and that the potential consequences are simply unprecedented in scope and magnitude. It is also becoming increasingly clear that some of these consequences are now unavoidable. Preventative measures alone, if enacted, could only head-off the worst. What should be done with the natural world that will be inherited in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, the 20th and the opening decades of the 21st century? As embodied and terrestrial beings, embedded in an emerging and unstable new world climate, how should considerations of justice, ecological and human flourishing influence prescriptive combinations of prevention, mitigation, adaptation, and restoration? What should we believe about ecological restitution or redress to citizens of third-world countries, or future generations? What are the meta-ethical, technological, biological, and geo-political considerations that underlie this range of normative concerns? Our focus will be on issues at the intersection of ecological restoration, global justice, and prospects of well being for human and non-human animals in an era of radial climate change, including the restoration or geo-engineering of large-scale biotic processes and the role of human flourishing in the practice of ecological restoration.

Confirmed speakers include Eric Higgs, Andrew Light and Martha Nussbaum.

To make the conference and its expenditure of energy as useful as possible, the conference format will involve preconference paper sharing and preparatory dialogue, a combination of plenary and small group sessions, ample time for discussion both in and outside sessions, post-conference documentation, the creation of a network on the conference theme and related issues following the conference, and a conference volume to be reworked thoroughly for publication. Additionally, the organizers have set aside 10% of the conference budget to invest in accountable, well-proven reforestation and wind farming. Novel ways of participating in the conference to avoid CO2 emissions are invited. Ideally, we would have the conference entirely on-line but feel we need face-to-face time on this issue to begin the research discussions around it. As much of the conference as is practically possible for us will involve a sustainable ontology -e.g., recycled paper, on-line archiving, local and humane food sources with reduced packaging, etc.

Send the proposal to by November 30th, 2007. The finished papers of those accepted will be due by July 30th, 2008. Proposals should include an abstract of approximately 500 words, an optional explanation of some 200 words explaining the proposal’s relevance to the conference themes, a list of current research projects or of publications related to the conference themes, and full contact details (email, phone, address). Graduate students are encouraged to apply. There will be one graduate student scholarship to help with costs.

Organizing and program committee
Allen Thompson, Clemson University Department of Philosophy and Religion
Jeremy Bendik-Keymer, American University of Sharjah Department of International Studies and Le Moyne College Department of Philosophy
Breena Holland, Lehigh University Department of Political Science and the Environmental Initiative

Deadline: November 30th 2007