CFI-LA’s FEED YOUR BRAIN Lecture Series
Prof. Brian Fagan
Elixir: What the History of Water and Humans Tells Us About California’s Future Water Crisis
Sunday, Nov. 6th - 11 a.m.
Rising temperatures, human interference with natural climatic cycles, constant droughts and extreme weather events: Humans face an uncertain future sleepwalking into a chronically thirsty future. Author Brian Fagan describes the changing, usually intimate, relationship of humans with water over the past 10,000 years, showing how religious beliefs, elaborate rituals, and powerful deities played an important part in a relationship of respect and careful husbandry that still survives in some parts of the world. Then, with the Romans and the Industrial Revolution, water became an anonymous commodity, the subject of entitlement rather than careful, measured use. Fossil fuels and deep pumping sowed the seeds for an uncertain tomorrow.
In a densely populated world today, billions of people in dry lands have inadequate water supplies, quite apart from industrialized, heavily urbanized California. Humans face a quiet crisis of dwindling supplies and escalating urbanism, a political environment where denial of a pending water crisis is endemic. What strategies will take us out of this morass? In Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind, Fagan argues that we need a new respect for water and its conservation as a way of life, not as a sidebar to California’s future.
British-born Brian Fagan is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an internationally known writer about ancient climate change and human societies. After an early career as an archaeologist in Central Africa, he came to the United States in 1966. His many books include several volumes for the National Geographic Society and The Great Warming. A former Guggenheim Fellow, he lectures widely about ancient climate change to audiences around the world.
WHEN: 11:00 a.m.,
Sunday, November 6, 2011
COST: $8, Students $4
Friends of the Center: Free Admission
The Center for Inquiry-Los Angeles
4773 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90027