David Orr

Fellow, Climate, Education & Communities

Climate, Communities, Education

David Orr is the Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Senior Adviser to the President of Oberlin College. His career as a scholar, teacher, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur spans fields as diverse as environment and politics, environmental education, campus greening, green building, ecological design, and climate change. He is the author of six books, including the widely praised Ecological Literacy (1992) and Earth in Mind (1994/2004); his most recent book is Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse.

In 1996 David organized the effort to design the first substantially green building on a U.S. college campus. The Adam Joseph Lewis Center was later named by the U.S. Department of Energy as "One of Thirty Milestone Buildings in the 20th Century." His recent projects include a two year, $2 million project to define a 100-days climate action plan for the Obama administration. David is Trustee of the Rocky Mountain Institute and Bioneers.


David Orr: Keynote at State of the World 2014 Symposium

length:   credit: Worldwatch Institute   Apr 30, 2014

David Orr looks at the history of the environmental movement and how we got to a system where "we have an economic model that doesn't calibrate with the way the world works".

David Orr begins at 1:02:50.


Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse

length: 01:03:38   credit: Commonwealth Club Radio   Nov 11, 2009

Due to our refusal to live within the Earth’s natural limits, we now face a multitude of problems that will have a severe negative impact on human civilization. David Orr, an expert on environmental literacy and ecological design, further argues that political negligence, an economy driven by insatiable consumption and a disregard for future generations are only adding to our plethora of environmental challenges. This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, on November 11th, 2009.

Latest Publications

An Interview with David Orr, author of ‘Down to the Wire’. Parts Two and Three

David Orr    Mar 22, 2010   

Part Two How do you see the relationship between sustainability and resilience as concepts? Is resilience part of sustainability? Is sustainability part of resilience? I guess for me sustainability is kind of a boring word … >>

Systems Thinking and the Future of Cities

David Orr    May 30, 2014   

Photo credit: Stuck in Customs / Flickr. Creative Commons 2.0 license. "We live in an interconnected world", the author argues. In Brief The idea that nothing exists in isolation−but only as part of a … >>

Creating a Sustainable and Desirable Future

David Orr

The major challenge for the current generation of mankind is to develop a shared vision of a future that is both desirable to the vast majority of humanity and ecologically sustainable. Creating a Sustainable and Desirable … >>

press coverage

Orr included in article on Heroes of the Planet

David Orr  

Post Carbon Fellow David Orr was one of the Herores of the Planet mentioned in this article at the Huffington Post. From the article: Successes in the greening of business notwithstanding, the profit motive can only take … >>