Bedrock Lecture Series

The Bedrock Lecture Series on Human Rights and Climate Change
January – May, 2018

The online Bedrock Lectures are short, 20 minutes each or less. They were released on the Wednesday of each week leading up to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal Session on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change. All the lectures are now available below and are also available on the Spring Creek Project’s YouTube page.



The first in the Spring Creek Project – Oregon State University series of Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change. Kicking off the series for us is author, philosopher, and Spring Creek Project Senior Fellow Kathleen Dean Moore. Her talk “Breaking Bedrock: Fracking’s Impact on Fundamental Rights” helps set the stage for this lecture series and for the upcoming Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change. She examines the fossil fuel industry’s process of hydraulic fracturing from a moral perspective as she questions whether fracking has breached our universal human rights. Kathleen dares us to consider what rights people, corporations, natural systems, or future generations can claim and how these are impacted by fracking.


Second Bedrock Lecture: Rev. Fletcher Harper

We invite you to watch this newly released video in our Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change by Rev. Fletcher Harper. In his lecture “Faith and Spirituality, Human Rights and Climate Change,” he draws telling parallels between religious leaders and human rights leaders, and he calls for a restructuring of the narrative of the climate change movement. Religion, rooted in the power of storytelling, adds a strong and necessary moral dimension to the climate change movement that may shift us all toward a collective awakening. Click on the photo below to watch, or use this direct link for viewing and sharing:



Third Bedrock Lecture: Julia Olsen


Third in the Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate Change series by Julia Olson. 


Julia is the founder, executive director, and chief legal counsel of Our Children’s Trust. In her lecture, she discusses her work as co-lead counsel for Juliana v. The United States, an unprecedented lawsuit that involves 21 youth plaintiffs suing the federal government for their affirmative actions that have contributed to climate change. Julia details how the federal government actively promoted, subsidized, and bolstered a fossil-fuel-based energy system in the United States for more than 50 years while knowing about the pressing need for a broad-scale renewable energy transition. She describes why this case was brought against the federal government, what aspects of the U.S. Constitution have framed the claims of the case, and how the plaintiffs seek a unique remedy. 


Fourth Bedrock Lecture: Robin Bronin

Robin lives in Alaska, works as a human rights attorney, and is the co-founder and executive director of the Alaska Institute for Justice. She has been focused on the climate-forced relocation of Alaska Native communities since 2007. In this lecture, she takes us to the western coast of Alaska where the effects of climate change are amplified, and indigenous coastal communities are bearing the disproportionate price. She calls attention to the desperate need for a planned relocation framework in order to honor and protect the individual and collective human rights of these communities.



Fifth Bedrock Lecture: Bill McKibben

In this lecture, Bill McKibben focuses on the climatic implications of hydraulic fracturing. He presents the history of the technology and how our perceptions of it have evolved: What was once lauded as being environmentally responsible is now recognized as a major driver of climate change. As the changing climate poses a threat to the human rights of people around the world, McKibben calls for a timely transition away from fracking and toward clean and renewable energy sources. This talk is a part of the Bedrock Lectures on Human Rights and Climate change, organized by the Spring Creek Project. Bill McKibben is an author and environmentalist who in 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the “alternative Nobel.” His 1989 book The End of Nature is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages; he’s gone on to write a dozen more books. He is a founder of, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized 20,000 rallies around the world, spearheaded the resistance to the Keystone Pipeline, and launched the fast-growing fossil fuel divestment movement.