Lectures, Performances, and Workshops

Kathleen Dean Moore is a philosopher, environmental advocate, and award-winning essayist, the author of books about our cultural and moral relation to the natural world - among them, Riverwalking, Holdfast, Pine Island Paradox, and Wild Comfort. In recent years, her life's work has become an all-out effort to help avert the worst consequences of climate change. With the publication of her co-edited book, Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril and her new book, Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change, she left her university position and began to speak across the country about the moral urgency of stopping the carbon catastrophe.

"Take Emmylou Harris's angelic/haunting voice and merge it with Bill McKibben's edgy, intelligent activism, and you have some idea of what Moore is doing...She's good medicine, and we can all use a regular dose of that." - BK Loren in VELA.

"Powerfully beautiful/beautifully powerful words." - Rebecca Wolle, teacher

"There's something so special about your presentations -- your personal warmth, your moral forthrightness, the sharp clarity of your thinking, the clear options you lay out... -- that it's little wonder people love you so much, and find your ideas so accessible and palatable. Now we just have to act on them." - Tom Kerns, Director, Environment and Human Rights Advisory

"Spectacular presentation; it was life-changing." -- Cathy Mutschler, Community Foundation of Fox Valley

Kathleen is now booking dates for 2017. If you are interested in inviting her to speak in your community, please contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Here is full information about her currently most popular events:

1. PUBLIC LECTURE

"Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Planetary Change"
Kathleen Dean Moore

Synopsis. Even as seas rise against the shores, another great tide is beginning to rise - a tide of outrage against the pillage of the planet, a tide of commitment to justice and human rights, a swelling affirmation of moral responsibility to the future and to Earth's fullness of life. Climate change may be an economic and technological problem. But fundamentally, it is a moral problem, and it calls for a moral response.

Philosopher and nature essayist Kathleen Dean Moore takes on the essential questions: Why is it wrong to wreck the world? What is our obligation to the future? What is the transformative power of moral resolve? How can clear thinking stand against the lies and illogic that batter the chances for positive change? And always this: What stories and ideas will lift people who deeply care, inspiring them to move forward with clarity and moral courage?

What It Takes. A big room filled with caring, intelligent people. A good microphone. Travel and hotel expenses. Honorarium (TBD) depending on your organization's ability to pay.

2. PERFORMANCE

"In a Time of Extinction, A Call to Life"
Kathleen Dean Moore and Rachelle McCabe

Synopsis. This performance piece is a stunning collaboration between essayist/activist Kathleen Dean Moore and concert pianist, Rachelle McCabe. The performance weaves the spoken word into the movements of Rachmaninoff's Variations on a Theme of Corelli. It's a sometimes thunderous, sometimes heart-aching piece, and it carries a strong message straight into the listeners' hearts - the lives on this planet are beautiful and worthy beyond measure, and we cannot, must not, destroy them at this rate and with this terrible disregard. It's a call to life, a call to reverence, and a call to action.

Link to action. We hand out a program that has, on the back, a good list of what people can DO to combat the Sixth Extinction. And we follow the performance by inviting the audience to participate in a paired discussion based on Joanna Macy's active listening. It's extra good if the lobby is filled with tables where people can sign up to become active. So the evening goes from emotional engagement to thoughtful consideration to action.

Comments. "It was truly exceptional. I had no idea what to expect...I was deeply moved by the power, eloquence, wisdom, urgency, and insight of the presentation. The synergy of the music and the reading was brilliant. Why? Because there was such integrity in the sharing of voices. The symmetry between the two of you was magnificent. The Rachmaninoff piece (and the performance) was stunning and your language (and delivery) sent me to so many different places, mainly emotional. And that's what I needed. Not another intellectual experience, but rather a revitalization of the emotional connection to the planetary emergency." - Mitch Thomashow, former President, Unity College

"It was deeply moving, fact-filled, and as strong a message as one could possibly imagine." -- Shirley Byrne and John Byrne, former president, Oregon State University

"...an amazing experience that was deeply moving, profoundly disturbing, yet not dispiriting." -- Bonnie Esbensen, pianist, Corvallis.

What it takes.

  • A wonderful piano in a space that seats at least 200.
  • A good microphone.
  • A terrific crowd.
  • Travel and lodging for two from Corvallis, Oregon and, if possible, an honoraium for the pianist.

3. WORKSHOP

Workshop: “Keep on Strong Heart” with Kathleen Dean Moore

We may be tired, we may be discouraged, but the assaults on a just and sustainable planet keep coming, like birdshot to the face. In this workshop, we will collect our thoughts, confront our dismay, obliterate our obstacles, gather our courage, summon our communities, and reclaim our laughter and joy (!) for the work ahead.

The workshop is to lift up all varieties of the “active and engaged” – experienced, aspiring, or maybe just thinking they ought to get started. All those engaged in climate action or environmental and environmental justice advocacy, and anyone interested in new and effective ways to further constructive dialogue and action to save our planet, will find support and inspiration here.

Nature writer, climate activist, and philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore – author, most recently, of Great Tide Rising: Toward Clarity and Moral Courage in a Time of Climate Change and Piano Tide, and co-editor of Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, will lead us with music, readings, and guided conversations.

What It takes.

Twenty-five to fifty engaged workshop participants. Travel and hotel expenses for workshop leaders. Honoraria (TBD) scaled to your organization's ability to pay.

Other events that may interest your community

Public Talk / Divestment is a Moral Issue
The purpose of divestment is not to destroy Big Oil; it's to save the university's integrity. Five fallacious arguments against divestment, named and refuted.

Writing Workshop / The Work of a Writer in a World of Wounds
Is it enough for a nature writer to celebrate frog song - even as marshes disappear? Can we praise meadowlarks in the morning - even as suburbs replace their open meadows? What is a writer's duty toward what Robinson Jeffers called "the heartbreaking beauty that will remain when there's no heart to break for it?" Many nature writers have given up literary writing and turned instead to activism - community organizing, direct action, polemic journalism. But is nature writing itself a kind of activism? If so, what is our purpose, and who is our audience?

Writing Workshop / The Nature Essay: Practicing the Osprey's Art
Here is how an osprey hunts: soaring over water, patiently watching. All she sees are surfaces, reflections on the riffles, the glistening pines. Then the angle of light changes, or the direction of the wind, and the osprey catches a glimpse of a shadow under the surface of the water. She tucks her wings and dives. So it is with the nature essay. A nature essay begins with patient, loving, informed observation of a particular location. Then it pursues a truth briefly revealed in that place. In this workshop, we will practice diving, the art of moving between experience and an exploration of its meaning.