Bedrock Lecture Series

surface of a rock

Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change | 2018

In the months leading up to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change, Spring Creek Project presented the Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change.

This weekly online series featured leading scientists, attorneys, writers, community leaders, activists and artists. Some lectures color the current state of human rights and climate change—how did we get here and what is happening around the world? Others look toward the future and invite listeners to imagine a future in which we have made the great turning toward climate justice for all living beings. Other lectures tell the story of a place—the fracking fields next to schools and neighborhoods, Standing Rock and deep sea drilling sites.

Together, the lectures are a chorus of voices and ideas that invite audiences to imagine how we can build communities and lives in a world where environmental crises are quickly recognized as human rights crises.

Spring Creek Project shared the lectures online and hosted an in-person screening of each lecture on the Oregon State University campus, followed by a discussion among the community members who attended.

The Bedrock Lectures

Breaking Bedrock: The Impact of Fracking on Fundamental Human Rights
By Kathleen Dean Moore

Faith and Spirituality, Human Rights and Climate Change
By Reverend Fletcher Harper

Juliana v. The United States: Landmark Precedent in Climate Change Litigation
By Julia Olson

A Rights-Based Approach to Climate-Forced Relocation
By Robin Bronen

Large-Scale Changes in Climate and Their Human Consequences
By Bill McKibben

Community or Commodity? Why Utah Fails the Moral Challenge of the Climate Crisis
By Stephen Trimble

Small Buried Things
By Debra Marquart

Advancing Systems Change Through Collective Visioning and Action
By Jacqueline Patterson

Shale Gas: The Technological Gamble That Should Not Have Been Taken
By Anthony Ingraffea

The Real Costs of the Bakken on Native Communities
By Jacqueline Keeler

Indigenous Peoples and Climate Justice
By Kyle Powys Whyte

Why Banning Fracking Is More Important than Ever
By Josh Fox

The Next Energy Economy
By Winona LaDuke

Heart of the Monster
By David James Duncan

Atmospheric Recovery Litigation: Making Fossil Fuel Companies Pay for Cleaning Up The Atmosphere
By Mary Wood

Human Rights, Climate Change and The Politics of Legal Disembodiment
By Anna Grear

The Human Right to a Healthy Environment
By John Knox


bedrock lecture series speakers


About the Lecturers

Spring Creek Project Senior Fellow Kathleen Dean Moore is a writer, moral philosopher and environmental thought-leader devoted to an unrelenting defense of the future against those who would pillage and wreck the planet. As a writer, Kathleen is best known for award-winning books of essays that celebrate and explore the meaning of the wet, wild world of rivers, islands and tidal shores–"Riverwalking," "Holdfast," "Pine Island Paradox," and "Wild Comfort." But her growing alarm at the devastation of the natural world led her to focus her writing on the moral urgency of action against climate change and habitat destruction. Leaving her university position, Kathleen began to write in defense of the lovely, reeling world. Her latest books include "Great Tide Rising: Finding Clarity and Moral Courage to Confront Climate Change" and "Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril."

Fletcher Harper, an Episcopal priest, is the executive director of GreenFaith, an international interfaith environmental organization. He has developed a range of innovative programs to make GreenFaith a global leader in the religious-environmental movement. In recent years, he coordinated the OurVoices campaign that mobilized religious support globally for COP 21 and led the organizing efforts of faith communities for the People’s Climate Marches in New York City and Washington, D.C. He helped lead the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement and supported the launch of the global Interfaith Rainforest Initiative. Harper also co-founded Shine, a faith-philanthropy-NGO campaign to end energy poverty with renewable energy by 2030. He is the author of "GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Protect the Earth."

Julia Olson graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1993 with a B.A. in International Affairs and from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, with a J.D. in 1997. Julia worked for 15 years representing grassroots conservation groups in the West. She helped protect rivers, forests, parks, wilderness, wildlife, organic agriculture and human health. After becoming a mother, and realizing the greatest threat to her children and children everywhere was climate change, she began focusing her work in that field and founded Our Children's Trust, where she is executive director and chief legal counsel. Her work has led her to the intersection of human rights and environmental protection and she is passionate about working for youth. Julia also teaches environmental courses as an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon School of Law.

Robin Bronen lives in Alaska, works as a human rights attorney, and has been working on the climate-forced relocation of Alaska Native communities since 2007. She is currently working with 15 Alaska Native communities to design and implement community-based adaptation strategies, including community relocation, that protect their human rights. She is also the co- founder and executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice, a nonprofit agency that is the only immigration legal service provider in Alaska. The Institute houses a Language Interpreter Center that trains bilingual Alaskans to be professional interpreters, and it is also a research and policy institute focused on climate justice issues. The Alaska Bar Association awarded Robin the 2007 Robert Hickerson Public Service award and the 2012 International Human Rights award. The Federal Bureau of Investigation awarded the Alaska Institute for Justice the 2012 FBI Director’s Community Service award for its work with human trafficking survivors and the International Soroptimist’s awarded her the 2012 Advancing the Rights of Women award.

Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the "alternative Nobel." His 1989 book "The End of Nature" is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized 20,000 rallies around the world in every country save North Korea, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.

A writer, photographer, and editor, Stephen Trimble has published 25 books, including "Bargaining for Eden: The Fight for the Last Open Spaces in America," "The People: Indians of the American Southwest," and "Red Rock Stories: Three Generations of Writers Speak on Behalf of Utah's Public Lands." He has taught writing at the University of Utah, served as board chair of Utah Interfaith Power & Light, and currently serves on the advisory board of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. The breadth of Trimble’s awards mirrors the wide embrace of his work: The Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for photography and conservation; a Wallace Stegner Centennial Fellowship at the University of Utah Tanner Humanities Center; The National Cowboy Museum’s Western Heritage “Wrangler” Award; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from his alma mater, Colorado College, honoring his efforts to increase our understanding of Western landscapes and peoples.

Debra Marquart is the author of five books, including "Small Buried Things: Poems," and a co- edited anthology of experimental writing, "Nothing to Declare: A Guide to the Prose Sequence." She teaches nonfiction in the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine, and directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University. The senior editor of Flyway: Journal of Writing & Environment, Marquart has delivered over 250 invited readings and keynotes at universities and conferences from New York and Washington to Greece and Ireland. Her work has been featured on three NPR programs—"Morning Edition," "The Writer’s Almanac," and "On Point"—and the BBC. She is the recipient of more than 50 grants and awards, including an NEA Fellowship, a PEN USA Nonfiction Award, and Elle Magazine’s Elle Lettres Award. Her environmental poem “Lament” was recently honored by inclusion in "Best American Poetry 2016."

Currently the Director of Environmental and Climate Justice at the NAACP, Jacqueline Patterson, MSW, MPH, has worked on international and domestic issues including gender justice, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental and climate justice, with organizations including Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, IMA World Health, United for a Fair Economy, ActionAid, Health GAP, and the organization she co-founded, Women of Color United. She also currently serves on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, Center for Story Based Strategy, the National Black Workers’ Center, Fresh Coast Capital, the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, the River Network, and the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, as well as on the Steering Committee for Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change. She serves on the Advisory Board for the Center for Earth Ethics and the Climate Resilience and Urban Opportunity Initiative.

Anthony Ingraffea is the Dwight C. Baum Professor of Engineering Emeritus at Cornell University. His research concentrates on simulation and physical testing of complex fracturing processes. He has authored with his students over 250 papers in these areas. For his research achievements in hydraulic fracturing, he won the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics 1994 Significant Paper Award, and twice won the National Research Council Award for Research in Rock Mechanics. In 2006, he won ASTM’s George Irwin Medal for outstanding research in fracture mechanics. In 2011, TIME Magazine named him one of its “People Who Mattered,” and he became the first president of Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy. He is co-author of recent papers on methane emissions, wellbore integrity, and conversion of New York and California to wind/sun/water power for all energy uses in the next few decades.

Jacqueline Keeler is a Diné/Ihanktonwan Dakota writer and activist. She has contributed to High Country News, The Nation, Yes! magazine, and many other publications. Her book "Edge of Morning: Native Voices Speak for the Bears Ears" is available from Torrey House Press and her forthcoming title "Standing Rock to the Standoff: Standing Rock, the Bundy Movement, and the American Story of Occupation, Sovereignty, and the Fight for Sacred Lands" will be released later in 2018.

Kyle Powys Whyte is the Timnick Chair in the Humanities and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability at Michigan State University. He is also a faculty member of the Environmental Philosophy & Ethics graduate concentration, and a faculty affiliate of the American Indian & Indigenous Studies and Environmental Science & Policy programs. His research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and indigenous peoples, the ethics of cooperative relationships between indigenous peoples and science organizations, and problems of indigenous justice in public and academic discussions of food sovereignty, environmental justice, and the Anthropocene. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.

Josh Fox is best known as the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning writer/director of "Gasland" Parts I and II. He is internationally recognized as a spokesperson and leader on the issue of fracking and extreme energy development. His new film "How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, won the Environmental Advocacy Award at the Washington, D.C., Environmental Film Festival, and was released on HBO. As the Founder and Artistic Director of International WOW Company, Fox has established himself as a significant force in New York theatre. His work for the stage includes "Surrender," an interactive war epic that was nominated for a 2009 Drama Desk Award and AUTO DA FE. The performance premiered in New York and toured to Japan in 2011.

Winona LaDuke is an internationally renowned activist working on issues of sustainable development, renewable energy, and food systems. She lives and works on the White Earth reservation in northern Minnesota, and is a two-time vice presidential candidate with Ralph Nader for the Green Party. As executive director of the Honor the Earth, she works nationally and internationally on the issues of climate change, renewable energy, and environmental justice with Indigenous communities. And in her own community, she is the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, one of the largest reservation-based, nonprofit organizations in the country, and a leader in the issues of culturally based sustainable-development strategies, renewable energy, and food systems. In this work, she also continues national and international work to protect indigenous plants and heritage foods from patenting and genetic engineering.

David James Duncan is the author of the novels "The River Why and The Brothers K," the story/memoir/essay collections "River Teeth," "My Story as Told by Water" and "God Laughs & Plays." He has also written two fast-response activist books, "Citizen’s Dissent" (with Wendell Berry) and "The Heart of the Monster" (with Rick Bass). His work has won three Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Awards, the Western States Book Award, a Lannan Fellowship, and the American Library Association’s 2003 Award for the Preservation of Intellectual Freedom, and it has appeared in more than 40 anthologies including Best American Sports Writing, Best American Essays (twice), and Best American Spiritual Writing (five times). He is currently finishing up a novel, "Sun House," that fuses his love for acoustic folk and blues music and the mountains, river valleys, wild creatures, and openhearted people of the American West. The closed hearted are on their own.

Mary Christina Wood is a Philip H. Knight Professor of Law at the University of Oregon and the Faculty Director of the law school's nationally acclaimed Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. She is an award-winning professor and the co-author of leading textbooks on public trust law and natural resources law. Her most recent book, "Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age," sets forth a new paradigm of ecological responsibility. She originated the legal theory called Atmospheric Trust Litigation, which seeks to hold governments accountable to reduce carbon pollution within their jurisdictions. Professor Wood’s research is being used in cases brought on behalf of youth throughout the world. She is a frequent speaker on climate issues and has received national and international attention for her sovereign trust approach to global climate policy.

Anna Grear is the founder and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment, founder of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment (GNHRE), founder of the Vulnerability Network, and co-founder, with Martha Fineman, of the Vulnerability and Human Condition Collaboration (a partnership between UWE and Emory University, Atlanta). Anna is a legal theorist whose work focuses largely on questions related to law’s construction of the human being and the human relationship with the world, broadly conceived. Her work calls on insights from a range of disciplines despite being firmly located within a combination of critical legal theory and jurisprudence. She is also series editor of a new series called "Law, Justice and Ecology" recently established by Glasshouse Press.

John H. Knox is the Henry C. Lauerman Professor of International Law at Wake Forest University in North Carolina and is the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner. In 2012, the U.N. Human Rights Council appointed him to be the first U.N. Independent Expert on human rights and the environment, and in 2015, it renewed his mandate for three years and changed his title to Special Rapporteur. In the course of his work for the U.N., he has conducted consultations around the world and published reports on the relationship between human rights and environmental protection.