A very different Earth… how so and why?
What does the climate and ecological breakdown mean for life on Earth?
How do we choose to respond?
Given what we know, how do we live now?

Imagine sitting with a small group of people who are ready to look honestly at the climate crisis – engaging it through these questions within a Council practice.

We review the climate science and explore the root causes of the crisis – cultural, political, economic, psychological and spiritual. From there, we face together the implications of what is taking place, lean into the loss and uncertainty, and feel out possibilities for our individual and collective behavior. Finally, we ask ourselves how we might live now, given what we are coming to know.

In the Council on the Uncertain Human Future, we acknowledge and stay with what we come to see, allowing vision and action to emerge from that place of reckoning with this unprecedented reality. In a gradual collective way, new solidarity, momentum, creative insights and collaborations become possible.

Council members share why the process is so valuable and timely here.

… The time for imagining ourselves as the pinnacle of all creation… the ones who are in control of the natural world, the ones who are separate from and in competition with everything else… that set of ideas is gone.

Who are we then in relation to the Earth and to one another? Are we deeply kin to the rest of creation? Are we part of this great creative urgency of the universe? How then shall we live? KATHLEEN DEAN MOORE


The first UHF Council was convened over the year 2014 among twelve distinguished women across the disciplines — all bringing a strong commitment to the question of our human relationship to the planet. The original UHF Council continues to work together; several other Council groups have convened and are planned:

National Council
Higgins School of Humanities, Clark University, 2014 and ongoing

Sarah Buie, Diana Chapman Walsh and Susi Moser, conveners

The first Council received funding from the Mellon Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation. It originated within the Humanities for the Environment (HfE) initiative of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI).

Edinburgh Council
University of Edinburgh, Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, IASH, 2016, and ongoing

Pauline Phemister and Wallace Heim, conveners

Clark University A new Earth conversation, and hosted by the Higgins School of Humanities, 2015, 2016, 2017, and ongoing

Sarah Buie, Ellen Foley and Amy Richter, conveners

National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, 2016

Joanie Kleypas, convener

Kathmandu, Nepal, 2017, and ongoing

Asha Basnyat, Linda Kentro, Chhing Lamu Sherpa, Frances Klatzel, co-conveners
More information on the current Councils and their members