a climate series for the ages


A Climate Series for the Ages

Living with Climate Change

Climate change is the existential crisis of the 21st century. How it plays out, how we can curb it, and how we adjust to the changes already underway will define our generation.

This fall, the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, in collaboration with UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, has designed a new kind of climate series: a four-night conversation between the L.A. community and some of the world’s experts on all things climate.

October 5 – Climate Change Cliff Notes
October 19 – Earth and Human Climate
November 2 – A Tale of Two Cities in a Hotter World: Los Angeles and Beijing
November 16 – Imagined Futures for a Hotter Planet

Livestream available here

Thursday, October 5 Climate Change Cliff Notes

There are so many questions about climate change and climate science. Is climate change right now really worse than climate change in the past? Isn’t it true that there has been a pause in warming in the ten years? Will the ice caps melt? Can we really blame heat waves, hurricanes, and droughts on global warming? 

Conversation with

Michael Mann, The Madhouse Effect author

Daniel Swain, UCLA climate scientist

Sarah Feakins, USC Associate Professor of Earth Science

Moderated by

Bob Lalasz, founder and principal consultant of Science+Story Communications


Thursday, October 19 Earth & Human Climate History

We can get hints about what climate change could mean for our planet and the things that live on it by looking at climate change in the past. 

Conversation with

Emily Lindsey, Assistant Curator at the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum

Agustín Fuentes, University of Notre Dame Professor and Department Chair of Anthropology

Moderated by

Michelle Bezanson, Associate Professor and Chair of Anthropology at Santa Clara University


Thursday, November 2 A Tale of Two Cities: Los Angeles & Beijing

It is tough to feel urgency when climate change seems like something happening to future generations, in faraway lands. The reality is, it is and will affect all of us, in every city on the planet. And it’s not all bad, by the way—some cities and people could benefit from global warming. To make climate change personal, local, and real, let’s talk about how it will affect two of the greatest cities in the world, Los Angeles and Beijing. We’ll compare notes on each city’s infrastructure and governance, actual on-the-ground impacts, and how residents might react. 

Conversation with

Alex Hall, UCLA Professor of Atmospheric & Ocean Sciences and Director, IoES Center for Climate Science

Brad Shaffer, UCLA Evolutionary Biologist and Director, UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science

Alex Wang, professor at UCLA School of Law

Moderated by

Stephanie Wear, Senior Scientist and Strategy Advisor at The Nature Conservancy


Thursday, November 16 Imagining Futures for a Hotter Planet

Artists, writers and media organizations are playing vital roles in conveying the science and ethics of global warming. This conversation will explore how experiments in environmental storytelling and media imagine possible futures for different communities and ecosystems in the context of planetary climate change. 

Conversation with

Rita Wong, Poet, educator and activist

Marina Zurkow, Media artist and NYU Professor

Juan Devis, KCET Chief Creative Officer

Natale Zappia, professor of American History at Whittier College 

Moderated by

Allison Carruth, UCLA Associate Professor of English and Director of Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS)