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: The Oberlin Project

length: 1:30:27   credit: Dartington TV   Aug 15, 2011

Post Carbon Fellow David Orr will talks about the US-based Oberlin Project and how it can inspire communities to work collaboratively with other groups to create a greener future. The Oberlin Project is a collaborative venture, developed by David, between Oberlin College, the City of Oberlin, Oberlin city schools and private sector and arts organisations to build a post-fossil fuel based economy.


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 … >>

Governance in the Long Emergency

David Orr    May 15, 2013   

This is Chapter 26 of the new WorldWatch State of the World 2013: Is Sustainability Still Possible? report. It is reproduced here with permission. The first evidence linking climate change and human emissions of carbon … >>

Hope Is an Imperative

David Orr

For more than three decades, David Orr has been one of the leading voices of the environmental movement, championing the cause of ecological literacy in higher education, helping to establish and shape the field of ecological … >>

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 … >>