Long Now Foundation hosts Laura Cunningham, Historical Ecology of CA.

Posted on Wednesday November 2, 02011

Laura Cunningham: Ten Mliiennia of California Ecology

Laura Cunningham: Ten Millennia of California Ecology from The Long Now Foundation on FORA.tv

Sustainability Media filmed another amazing talk hosted by the Long Now Foundation's Seminars About Long-term Thinking in October. In this talk Ecologist, Artist and Oil Painter, Laura Cunningham brings us her near 30 years of research and passion to understand the historical landscapes of California.  Beautiful artwork and amazing revelations of our past California.  Enjoy!

Ecologically, the past is always present if you know where and how to look. Paleontologist-biologist-artist Laura Cunningham spent 20 years exploring California's archives and relic lands to reconstruct exactly what life used to look like here over the past 10,000 years. Her beautiful images and her insights about long-period ecological change are collected in her new book, A STATE OF CHANGE: Forgotten Landscapes of California.

Like many regions, California is busy restoring portions of the natural environment to previous conditions -- native meadows, riparian woodlands, salt marshes, old-growth forests, along with the animals that used to populate them. But there is no static past to restore TO. With Cunningham's guidance we can choose to restore to a particular period: say, before the white invasion; or, during the Medieval Warm Period; or, before the human invasion; or, during the Ice Ages. With her inspiration, we can begin to envisage the ecological changes coming over the next 10,000 years.


Read Long Now Foundation's co-founder and president, Stewart Brand's thoughts and conclusions from the talk.

Laura Cunningham - LNF SALT image 5

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