Reasons for hope on climate
Event Date : 11/09/2018

The Lakeville Journal

By Leon Graham

SALISBURY — Joshua R. Ginsberg is a “glass half full” guy. That is why his presentation to a Salisbury Forum on Nov. 9 is titled “Why I am an Environmental Optimist.”

Ginsberg, of course, is president of the renowned Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook. While trusting the data on global warming in the face of deniers — he often quotes the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s admonition that, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts” — Ginsberg believes advances in energy-production technology, greater emphasis on energy conservation and recognition of the fact that the planet is warming will make it increasingly difficult for deniers to prevail.

These beliefs may seem too optimistic in the face of the recent United Nations IPCC report that declared warming is occurring faster than expected and posited the effects, many dire, for a rise above 1.5 Celsius — the putative target of the international climate accord from which President Donald J. Trump withdrew the United States — to 2.0 C in the next decade. Ginsberg will square the two in his talk and in what promises to be an especially lively question-and-answer period.

 Ginsberg’s credentials and career are impressive. He received a B.S. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from Princeton. In 1996 he began working at the Wildlife Conservation Society, where he eventually became senior vice president for the entire global conservation program. He came to the Cary Institute in 2014 as only its third president since its founding in 1983.

Ginsberg has been an adjunct professor at Columbia University since 1998. Past academic and research positions include appointments at the London Zoo, University College London and Oxford University. He advises many national and regional organizations and serves on many boards, some local such as the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation and the Salisbury Forum. He is known as an engaging speaker who uses visual aids.

Ginsberg will speak at Housatonic Valley Regional High School on Friday, Nov. 9, at 7:30 p.m. As with all Salisbury Forum events, the presentation is free and open to all. Go to for more information.