Climate Change in the American Mind | October 2

Last week, The Architectural League launched The Five Thousand Pound Life, an ambitious initiative of live programs, digital releases, and a major design study that seeks to imagine a viable American future in light of the urgent challenge climate change poses to our environment, economy, and society. As highlighted by Rosalie Genevro and Andrew Wade in the initiative’s introductory essay, confronting climate change “not only demands recognition of the complex interactions of the natural systems that support our lives; it requires us to question and reimagine the most fundamental arrangements and relationships we have designed for ourselves.”

On Wednesday, October 2nd, at 7:00pm the first live program of the initiative will address a more fundamental recognition: acknowledging the large problem. Anthony Leiserowitz, the director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, will frame the different ways in which Americans perceive the threat of climate change, how we understand our collective and individual capacity to address it, and how willing we are to act on our understanding. Leiserowitz will further dissect and examine the underlying values that are reflected in our various views of climate change, and the extent to which our views are based on cultural predispositions rather than scientific data.

Following the talk, philosopher Dale Jamieson, architect Paul Lewis, and landscape architect Kate Orff will engage Leiserowitz in a discussion on the implications of his research. The group will examine how the diversity of our values and understandings of climate change affect our individual and collective capacity to act, and the significance of this spectrum of views for actions affecting the built environment. Read on for more information from the program listing, or check the League website for the latest about the event or to purchase tickets online.

The Five Thousand Pound Life
Climate Change in the American Mind
Anthony Leiserowitz
With responses by Dale Jamieson, Paul Lewis, and Kate Orff
1.5 AIA and New York State CEUs
Lecture hosted by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.  

Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D., is a research scientist at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. He is an expert on public opinion about climate change and the environment. His research investigates the psychological, cultural, and political factors that influence environmental attitudes, policy support, and behavior. He conducts research at the global, national, and local scales, including many surveys of the American public. He also conducted the first study of worldwide public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sustainability, including environmental protection, economic prosperity, and human development. He has served as a consultant to the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University), the United Nations Development Program, the Gallup World Poll, and the World Economic Forum.

Dale Jamieson is professor of environmental studies and philosophy at New York University and author of the forthcoming Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle to Stop Climate Change Failed—and Why Our Choices Still Matter. 

Paul Lewis is a principal of LTL Architects and a faculty member in the School of Architecture at Princeton University.

Landscape architect Kate Orff is a principal of SCAPE/Landscape Architecture and a faculty member in the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University.

Time & Place
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
7:00 p.m.
The Great Hall
The Cooper Union

Tickets are free for The Architectural League members; $10 for non-members. Members may reserve a ticket by e-mailing: Member tickets will be held at the check-in desk; unclaimed tickets will be released fifteen minutes after the start of the program. Non-members may purchase tickets here.

This project is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works. Additional support is provided by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Architectural League also thanks Frances Levine for providing research support for The Five Thousand Pound Life.


The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.