Illahee is a Portland non-profit environmental organization that provides “opportunities for science-based policy-relevant environmental inquiry.” They bring some excellent lecturers to Portland. Coming up is Thomas Homer-Dixon. We have talked about him before. He is an author and Director of the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Toronto.

September 11th won’t be the last time we walk out of our cities, writes Thomas Homer-Dixon. In his new book, The Upside of Down, he argues that peak oil, climate change, terrorism, and the widening gap between rich and poor have made the world increasingly vulnerable to breakdown.

But it is also ripe for renewal. Although recent disasters have caused tremendous suffering, they have taught us how we can reinvigorate the economic, political and social systems that sustain us. Can capitalism provide for the world’s well-being, equity and environment in the 21st century? Yes, says Homer-Dixon, if we think creatively, act boldly and develop resilient societies in advance.

“In advance” makes that a pretty big if. It will be interesting. Anyway, admission is $20, ouch, for non-members. It’s Wednesday, May 23, 7:30 p.m. in the First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park Ave., Portland.