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Climate Speaker Series: Climate Change & Henry Thoreau with Richard Primack

October 6 @ 7:00 pm
October 6 @ 8:00 pm


Friends of Mount Auburn
Henry David Thoreau was a climate change scientist!

The dangers brought on, at least in part, by our warming climate are too numerous to ignore. Mount Auburn has created a forum for presentations and engagement with local scientists, researchers and community organizations, as well as government, business and non-profit leaders, to meet these dangers head on and promote mitigation, adaptation and resiliency in our communities. Join us on Tuesday October 6, 2020 at 7:00pm. Richard Primack will take us on a climate science journey, more than 150 years in the making.

Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Concord

Henry David Thoreau was a climate change scientist! For the past 17 years, Professor Richard Primack and his team have been using Thoreau’s records from the 1850s and other Massachusetts data sources to document the earlier flowering and leafing out times of plants, the earlier flight times of butterflies, and the more variable response of migratory birds. Most noteworthy, plants in Concord are also changing in abundance due to a warming climate. This work has received extensive media coverage as an example of the biological effects of climate change and is now being extended to the neglected autumn season. What would Thoreau tell us to do about global warming if he were alive today?

Richard Primack is a Professor of Biology at Boston University with a specialization in plant ecology, conservation biology, tropical rain forest ecology, and climate change biology. He is the author of three widely used conservation biology textbooks; local co-authors have helped to produce 38 translations of these books with local examples. For nine years, he was the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Biological Conservation and served as the President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. His research has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, National Geographic, and other publications, and he is often interviewed on National Public Radio. Primack also frequently gives talks and writes for the general public on issues of climate change and ecology, most recently the popular book Walden Warming: Climate Change Comes to Thoreau’s Woods.

Funding for programs has been provided in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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