Activist to advocate sustainable lifestyle

By Judd Liebman

The president of Conservation International will promote a more environmentally friendly lifestyle as the Brown Family Speaker on April 11. The Brown Family Series was founded by Abbott and Linda Brown (Russell ’94, David ’96).

This will be the second visit for Russell Mittermeier, president of Conservation International, who came to Harvard-Westlake in the ’90s to promote sustainability, President Thomas C. Hudnut said.

“I want to relay the message that our environment is being destroyed, and we are the cause,” said Alán Sneider ’12, president of the Environmental Action Committee, who helped plan the speech. “We have the power to slow it down and reverse it.”

Conservational International “works toward conserving biodiversity hotspots,” said Sneider, who travelled to China with the organization to observe endangered species.

The organization “engage[s] nations in a common goal — to preserve natural resources for the benefit of all life on Earth,” its website says.

Mittermeier wrote “Hotspots: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions,” among others works.

Sneider hopes his club’s membership will increase after the speech.

“I’m hoping for awareness that will provoke thought and action,” he said.

Lately, the club has been working on replacing the school’s lightbulbs with fluorescent ones that last longer, Sneider said. The agenda, however, will change after Mittermeier speaks.

Previous Brown Family Speakers include documentarian Ken Burns, jazz musician Herbie Hancock, infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Katona, artist and conservationist Maya Lin, violinist Goto Midori and photographer Art Wolfe.