Earth Day & Beyond: Livestream Environmental Talks Coming This Spring to NYC

If you’re looking for any silver linings in this terrible time it’s that we may come out of it with a new set of priorities. Looming climate change will hopefully pick up the urgency that it’s due (evidence suggests novel diseases like COVID-19 will only become more frequent as we further imbalance the planet’s ecosystems). Earth Day is next Wednesday, April 22nd, celebrating a milestone 50th anniversary. Check in to these upcoming talks, lectures, and events to gather hope and inspiration.

If you’re homeschooling (or looking for more primary-level experiences of Earth science) there are some great virtual opportunities out there. #EarthDayAtHome with NASA provides a packet of knowledge and activities. On Saturday, April 18th, the Newark Museum of Art will host journalist Valentina Giannella for a Q&A about her recent book We Are All Greta. Earth trivia, changes to the planet over the last 50 years, and insight into ice rivers are just a few of the virtual attractions at the Natural History Museum’s April 22nd EarthFest 2020. To learn more about the Earth in the context of the cosmos, head virtually to the Simons Foundation for a Friday, April 17th session of The Socially Distant Tour of the Solar System.

Image: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

Image: DonkeyHotey/Flickr

The collective-experience group Space for Action brings science and performance together for the Saturday, April 25th gathering Rebuilding a Sustainable World. Another multi-media presentation comes on Sunday, April 19th, with an Earth Day 50: Virtual Kick-Off that will include special guests like Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Attorney General Letitia James, and stars of Broadway. Earth Day Network grew out of the very first Earth Day. Visit their website for a guide to virtual Earth Day happenings all around the world. (On Earth Day, Columbia University will host a panel looking at Climate, Environment, and the Politics of Public Trust.) New York Live Arts will spend Earth Day presenting a series of live remote art happenings.

One of the great challenges of the climate crisis is how to reach populations that are resistant to the message. Alan Alda has become a master of science communication: he’ll share the secrets with Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now. They’ll be at the virtual Y on Thursday, April 23rd. Another prominent duo will livestream with the Y on Tuesday, April 21st: Bill McKibben with Mark Bittman will share insight into The Climate Crisis and Your Health. Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass also digitally visits the Y, with Peggy Noonan on Wednesday, May 20th, to take a big picture look at The World: A Brief Introduction. Climate change will, of course, be covered. COVID-19 is bringing to a head conjunctions of climate change and social justice; join a panel at The New School on Earth Day to look at personal reflections and possibilities for moving forward.

Swindler Cove at Inwood’s Sherman Creek Park. Image courtesy New York Restoration Project (NYRP).

On a more local level, the New York Restoration Project will be hosting Understanding Climate Change and Wetlands, looking at the threat sea level rise poses to the city on the afternoon of Friday, April 17th. Also on Friday, April 17th, join the New York Adventure Club for a virtual introduction to New York state’s Wolf Conservation Center, an environmental education organization protecting critically endangered populations of red wolves and Mexican gray wolves in North America. On Monday, April 20th, The New School also looks at the environment on a more micro scale with the panel Building Climate Resilience in Communities; Thinking Globally, Assessing Regionally & Acting Locally.


When a Nobel Laureate speaks, who listens? Sign up for Thought Gallery’s weekly Curriculum and get the best of smart NYC delivered right to your inbox.