Climate change expert has two Kootenay stops

James Hoggan speaks in Silverton, Nelson

The former chair of the David Suzuki Foundation, James Hoggan, one of two featured speakers at the Convergence Writers’ Weekend in Silverton, B.C. June 15 and 16, will also speak in Nelson, B.C. on Saturday, June 16.

Hoggan will discuss his most recent book I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean It Up at 1 p.m. at the Nelson United Church, 602 Silica St., sponsored by the West Kootenay EcoSociety. Suggested admission is $15, or pay what you can.

Hoggan’s book was prompted by environmentalist David Suzuki’s question to him as to why the environmental movement has failed to convince a majority of Canadians as to the dire state of climate change. Hoggan’s response was to speak to a range of communication experts, from scientists to the Dalai Lama. The experts’ responses to Suzuki’s question trace the rise of how speakers and writers on contentious issues increasingly demonize those who disagree with them, and suggest ways that people can present their opinions more persuasively without needing to regard those on the other side of an issue as evil or ignorant.

Besides his work for the Suzuki Foundation, Hoggan chaired Al Gore’s Climate Project Canada.

Hoggan will be speaking as well on June 15 at 7 p.m. at Silverton’s Memorial Hall, 203 Lake Ave. (Highway 6) as part of the 5th annual Convergence weekend. The June 15 event is open to the public by donation as well as to Convergence registrants. The theme of this year’s Convergence weekend is “Keeping a Civil Tongue”.

Also presenting at the June 15 Silverton event will be Donna Macdonald, a Nelson city councillor for 19 years before retiring in 2014. Her memoir of life as a civic politician, Surviving City Hall, stresses the importance of local government while emphasizing the need for truthfulness, kindness and civility in public life.

More information on the Convergence weekend, including how to register, is available at http://widespot.ca/convergence-writers-weekend/ Registrants for Convergence have the choice to attend one of two writing workshops offered during the day on June 16, as well as attending an arts performance and discussion that evening. Writing workshop leaders are Macdonald and New Denver journalist, historian, novelist, poet and performer Sean Arthur Joyce. Saturday evening includes performances by Joyce, New Denver musician Noel Fudge, and Silverton/New Denver dancer Koko, as well as a discussion of the weekend’s theme by participants.

Registration for the Convergence weekend costs $45 plus GST.

Convergence is partially supported by the ProVision fund of the United Church’s B.C. Conference, the Columbia Basin Trust, the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Area H director, Walter Popoff, and the Village of Silverton through the Community Initiatives Program.

Contact: 2018 Convergence coordinator Claire Paradis; 250-265-7173; csparadis@gmail.com

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