Naomi Klein 

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers, No LogoThe Shock Doctrine, and most recently This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate (2014) which is being translated into over 25 languages.  This Changes Everything, the documentary inspired by the book and narrated by Naomi premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

In 2017 she joined The Intercept as Senior Correspondent.  Recent articles have also appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, The New York Times, the New Yorker, Le Monde, The London Review of Books.  She is a member of the board of directors for, a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis and a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute.  She is one of the forces behind Canada's Leap Manifesto, a blueprint for a rapid and justice-based transition off fossil fuels. The Leap has been endorsed by over 200 organizations and inspired similar initiatives around the world.  In November 2016 she was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in Australia. On 9/14/2017 she spoke at common hour at Franklin and Marshall College titled  This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.

Jane Goodall 

Primatologist and Conservationist; author of 40+ books including Seeds of Hope (2014) and In the Shadow of Man (2010)

Primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall, whose studies of chimpanzees in their natural habitats in the African nation of Tanzania revolutionized primate research, delivered a message of hope at Franklin & Marshall College's packed Mayser Gymnasium on April 18.

Goodall spoke for 90 minutes about a love for animals that started when she was a child, her supportive mother who helped her realize her life's dream of moving to Africa to live with animals, and her intensive efforts to address the threats facing the world's wildlife and the environment.

"Is there no hope? I don’t believe that," Goodall said. "The human brain is a great source of hope as long as we use it in conjunction with the human heart."

Sowing the Seeds of Hope
Joel Sartore 

Joel Sartore is a photographer, speaker, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic Fellow, and a regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine. Joel specializes in documenting endangered species and landscapes in order to show our world as one worth saving. He is the founder of The Photo Ark, a multi-year documentary project to photograph every captive species in existence in order to promote education and save species and habitat. In his words, “It is folly to think that we can destroy one species and ecosystem after another and not affect humanity. When we save species, we’re actually saving ourselves.”

Joel has written several books including RARE: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, Photographing Your Family, and Nebraska: Under a Big Red Sky. In addition to the work he has done for National Geographic, Joel has contributed to Audubon Magazine, Geo, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times and numerous book projects. Joel and his work have been the subjects of several national broadcasts including National Geographic’s Explorer, the NBC Nightly News, and an hour-long PBS documentary, At Close Range. An exhibition of his photography is currently on display at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.


The Photo Ark

Bill McKibben

Scholar-in-residence, Middlebury College; environmentalist, author of 12 books including The End of Nature (1989) to Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future (2007)

In the summer of 2007, Arctic ice began to melt far more rapidly than scientists had expected. Before the season was out, they’d begun to conclude that the earth was already moving past tipping points—that indicators, from the thawing of glaciers to the spread of droughts, showed global warming was a present crisis, not a future threat.

Our leading climatologists even gave us a number for the red line: 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. That’s a tough number, since we’re already past it.

In this talk, Bill McKibben describes not only the science of the situation, but also the inspiring global movement that he’s led to help change the world’s understanding of its peril, and spur the reforms necessary to get the planet back to safety. The first big global grassroots effort to involve people from every nation, McKibben’s has crossed the boundaries of language and faith, and even the great gulf between rich and poor. It’s become a vibrant, powerful movement for real change, and the basis for an utterly fascinating and necessary talk.

Common Hour: 350—the Most Important Number in the World (Highlights)

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Environmental Lawyer and Advocate; named in Time Magazine's list of Hereos of the Planet and featured in acclaimed documentary The Last Mountain


Robert F. Kennedy Jr. discusses the role that natural resources play in our work, our health, and our identity as Americans.

A passionate environmental speaker, he aims to remind us that we have a responsibility to protect and preserve our planet for future generations. More than an advocate for the environment, Kennedy is an architect and agent of change. From solar energy to wind power and more, he shows how it is truly possible to become energy independent while making the world a better place.

Kennedy’s's reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. Kennedy was  named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper, New York’s clean water advocate, lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group’s achievement helped spawn more than 160 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe. In 2009 he was named one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Agents of Change.”

Kennedy was also featured in the acclaimed environmental documentary The Last Mountain, the Sundance 2011 official selection. The film examines the struggle to save Coal River Mountain in Coal River Valley, West Virginia — the last mountain in the area untouched by the mining practice of mountain top removal.

Kennedy is a professor of environmental law at Pace University School of Law and serves as co-director of the school’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. He also serves as senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, president-at-large of the Waterkeeper Alliance, is a partner on the CleanTech investment team of Silicon Valley’s VantagePoint Capital Ventures, is the environmental advisor to Napo Pharmaceuticals, and serves on the board of directors for Westinghouse Solar. Earlier in his career, he served as assistant district attorney in New York City.

Kennedy is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City’s water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He also helped lead the fight to turn back the anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress. He has also worked on environmental issues across the Americas, and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands.

Among his published books are the New York Times bestseller “Crimes Against Nature” (2004); “The Riverkeepers” (1997), and “Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr: A Biography” (1977). His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside magazine, the Village Voice, and many other publications.

Kennedy’s award-winning articles have also been included in anthologies of America’s best crime writing, best political writing and best science writing.

Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation, he attended Pace University School of Law, where he earned a master’s degree in environmental law.

Common Hour: Our Environmental Destiny (Highlights)

Chris Reddy

Senior Scientitst with the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at Woods Hole Ocean Institution

Petroleum hydrocarbons in the marine environment have been at the forefront of the news from the Exxon Valdez to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Reddy does research in the source, transport and fate of petroleum hydrocarbons in the marine environment. He has also advised the offices of Senator Edward Kennedy (MA), Senator John Kerry (MA), and Representative William Delahunt (MA) on oil spills and nanotechnology legislation (2008).

Common Hour: Deepwater Horizon Disaster—An Intersection of Interests

Sherri Goodman

Sherri Goodman, Director, CNA (Center for Naval Analyses)


Sherri Goodman is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of CNA and serves as Executive Director of the Military Advisory Board for CNA’s National Security and the Threat of Climate Change project.

From 1993-2001 Ms. Goodman was Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security), serving as the chief environmental, safety, and occupational health officer for the Department of Defense. In this position she was responsible for over $5 billion in annual defense spending including programs on energy efficiency and climate change, cleanup at active and closing bases, compliance with environmental laws, environmental cooperation with foreign militaries, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. She has twice received the DoD medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Gold Medal from the National Defense Industrial Association, and EPA’s Climate Change Award.

As an attorney, Ms. Goodman practiced law at Goodwin Procter and served on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee, working for the Chairman, Sen. Sam Nunn, on oversight of the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons research, development, production and environmental remediation efforts, as well as on ratification of nuclear arms control treaties. She has also worked at RAND and SAIC.

Ms. Goodman serves on the boards of the Atlantic Council of the US, the National Academy of Sciences’ Energy & Environmental Systems Board, the Marshall Legacy Institute, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and served on its task force, Confronting Climate Change: A Strategy for U.S. Foreign Policy.

Articles written by Ms. Goodman have been published in The Washington Post, The National Interest and Defense News, and she has appeared on NPR, CNN, ABC, BBC, Discovery’s Planet Green Channel, and This Week in Defense News. She has also testified before numerous committees of the US Senate and House on climate change, energy security, national security and environmental security.

Ms. Goodman is the author of The Neutron Bomb Controversy: A Study in Alliance Politics. (New York: Praeger, 1983). She has been an Adjunct Lecturer in International Affairs and Security at the Kennedy School of Government and was an Adjunct Research Fellow at the School’s Center for Science and International Affairs.

Ms. Goodman received a J.D. cum laude from the Harvard Law School and a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She received her Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Amherst College.

Common Hour: The U.S. Military’s Approach to Environmental and Energy Security

Van Jones

Van Jones, environmental advocate, civil rights activist, attorney, and co-founder of three non-profit organizations: Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green for All

Our country is in the depths of an ecological crisis and an economic recession. A clean-energy economy will move America past some of its most pressing challenges. By making us energy independent, it will improve our national and economic security. By radically reducing the pollution that causes climate change, it will improve the health of our families and neighborhoods. And by creating millions of quality jobs and careers, it will pull America out of the current recession, strengthen our middle class, and better protect us from future economic turmoil. More than that, building a clean-energy economy is a chance to reinvigorate and reinvest in the best part of the American dream: the idea that everyone gets a chance to succeed. By ensuring that every community has equal access to the new opportunities of the green economy, we can lift millions of people out of poverty.

In this moment, the progressive movement requires fresh approaches and a willingness to innovate. Van Jones has emerged as a leading champion of smart solutions for America’s middle class. As an advisor to the Obama White House, he helped run the inter-agency process that oversaw $80 billion in green recovery spending. A Yale Law School graduate, he has a 20-year track record as a successful, innovative and award-winning social entrepreneur. He is a co-founder of three successful nonprofit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green For All. He is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean energy economy, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and American Progress Action Fund. He holds a joint appointment at Princeton University as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Jones is on the board of several organizations and non-profits, including Demos, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, and the Campaign for America’s Future. TIME magazine called him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2009. He is also the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs, The Green Collar Economy. He’s comfortable leading the charge both on the ground and on the airwaves, and his vast connections can unite organizations and high profile individuals in ways that would otherwise be difficult.

Environment and Equity: The Interface between Sustainability and Social Justice

Sandra Steingraber

Sandra Steingraber is scholar-in-residence in the department of Environmental Studies and Science at Ithaca College and author of Living Downstream, Having Faith: An Ecologist’s Journey to Motherhood, and Raising Elijah: Protecting Our Children in an Age of Environmental Crisis.

A cancer survivor, Steingraber is an authority on the environmental links to cancer and human health and presents cancer as a human rights issue.

“The way we live causes cancer. Not just the way we eat; the way we live. We ‘dig petroleum out of the ground, and light it on fire to the point we’re acidifying the oceans.’ We’ve discovered we can blast [hydrofrack] these petrified bubbles of methane out of the bedrock. We concoct legions of toxic petrochemicals that merge with our cells in a kind of lifelong DNA demolition derby. It’s small wonder that industrial societies have disproportionately high cancer rates.”

Toxic farm pesticides likely triggered the bladder cancer she suffered as a 20-year-old college student in Illinois, Steingraber believes.

Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer

Jennifer Redfearn

 Jennifer is the director and producer of the first documentary of climate change refugees.  Her Oscar-nominated film, Sun Come Up, follows the relocation of the Carteret Islanders – a community living on a remote island chain in the South Pacific Ocean. When rising seas threaten their survival, the islanders face a painful decision: they must leave their beloved land in search of a new place to call home.  The film follows the Carteret’s relocation leader, Ursula Rakova, and a group of young islanders led by Nick Hakata as they search for land in Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea 50 miles across the open ocean.  The move will not be easy as Bougainville is recovering from a 10-year civil war.  Many Bougainvilleans remain traumatized by the “Crisis” as the civil war is known locally.  Yet, Sun Come Up isn’t a familiar third world narrative. Out of this tragedy comes a story of hope, strength, and profound generosity. San Kamap (Sun Come Up) means sunrise in pidgin and reflects this sentiment - the resilience of the community, and the hope that’s present at the start of a new day.

Common Hour: Jennifer Redfearn

Philip Cafaro and Gary Kendall

 Philip Cafaro, environmental philosopher, Colorado State University and Gary Kendall, executive director, SustainAbility, discuss what happens when environmental and economic imperatives clash.
Common Hour: Green Meets Green: When Economic and Environmental Imperatives Clash

Annie Leonard

Annie Leonard is the national director for Greenpeace.  She differs from many “environmental” spokespeople in that she radiates hope and optimism.

After traveling to 40 countries to explore environmental issues and meeting with communities, governments and businesses, she is absolutely convinced that it is possible to find a way to live on this planet, that is healthier, safer, fairer and more fun. In fact, fun is a huge part of Annie’s message, both in delivery and outcome. She realizes that people will not want to hear information, nor act upon it it if is cloaked in scolding, guilt or fear.

Annie inspires people to take action for a better world and ensures we all have fun doing it.

Common Hour: The Story of Stuff (Highlights)