January 10, 2021
The Dalai Lama with Greta Thunberg and Leading Scientists: A Conversation on the Crisis of Climate Feedback Loops
Official Launch of Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops film series
We launched our series of five short films about climate feedback loops with a discussion between the Dalai Lama and Greta Thunberg and climate scientists Susan Natali and William Moomaw. The event was moderated by Diana Chapman Walsh and sponsored by the Mind & Life Institute. Over one million viewers from around the world tuned into the conversation, where three clips from the films were shown.
The intergenerational meeting kicked off with the Dalai Lama and Greta Thunberg agreeing they share the goal of saving the planet. Susan Natali and William Moomaw offered their scientific perspectives on feedback loops and how we might halt, slow, and reverse them. All agreed that by educating people about what climate feedback loops are and how they work, we will better understand the dangers they pose.
The evening concluded with the Dalai Lama passing the torch to Greta and her generation of young climate activists, who give him hope for the planet. Greta later tweeted the link to the films to her 4.4 million followers highly recommending they watch them.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He was the first Laureate to be cited for his leadership in advocating that humans take responsibility to protect the environment. He recently published Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World. He is a co-founder of the Mind & Life Institute.
GRETA THUNBERG, 17, is a Swedish climate activist who started a school strike in front of the Swedish parliament in August 2018. Her solo protest has inspired school strikes for climate action all over the world since then. More than seven million people attended global school strikes in September 2019. Greta has addressed decision-makers at UN climate summits in New York, Poland and Madrid, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, and in several national parliaments. In 2019 Time Magazine selected her as Person of the Year. Alongside being an activist, Greta is currently attending high school in Stockholm, Sweden.
WILLIAM R. MOOMAW is Professor Emeritus at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and Visiting Scientist at Woodwell Climate Research Center in Massachusetts. He holds a Ph.D. degree in chemistry and worked to find solutions to stratospheric ozone depletion while working for the U.S. Congress. He then spent 20 years identifying actions and technologies to slow climate change and was a lead author of five major Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. More recently, he has developed natural climate solutions that protect and restore forests and wetlands to remove more heat-trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide.
DR. SUSAN NATALI leads the Arctic Program at Woodwell Climate Research Center. She studies the consequences of climate change in the Arctic, with a focus on permafrost thaw and wildfire, and the global implications of these changes. Her work has provided groundbreaking measurements of greenhouse gas emissions from thawing permafrost. She also works with local communities in the Arctic who are adapting to the impacts of a rapidly warming climate and dramatically changing landscape. Dr. Natali is committed to seeing both the human and climate impacts of rapid Arctic change incorporated into public understanding and global policy.
DIANA CHAPMAN WALSH, Ph.D. is President Emerita of Wellesley College, Senior Advisor to Stanford University’s Center for Innovation in Global Health, life member emerita of the MIT Corporation, co-founder of the Council on the Uncertain Human Future, and former board member of the Mind and Life Institute, the Broad Institute (chair), the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the State Street Corporation and Amherst College. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a former professor and department chair at the Harvard School of Public Health.