Model of the Micro: Surprising solutions for the natural world in crisis

Monday, April 22, 2024 - 10:00am

What does India, now the most populated nation on earth, have to teach the world about developing for a sustainable future? Meera Subramanian went to her father's land of India to find out and returned with intimate stories of life, loss and survival in a country under transformation. Join her as she shares findings and photographs from her book, A River Runs Again: India's Natural World in Crisis, which frames five environmental challenges around the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Meet an organic farmer who is reviving his land after the onslaught of the Green Revolution; villagers in Rajasthan who are resuscitating a river run dry; cook stove designers questing after a smokeless fire; and biologists bringing vultures back from the brink of extinction. And in Bihar, one of India’s most impoverished states, meet a bold young woman teaching young adolescents the fundamentals of sexual health. Does India offer cautionary tales or inspiration? Can India lead a shift from an outdated model of macro-development to a new model of the micro, bringing together the best of traditional knowledge with cutting-edge science? Should it choose this path, India could create a sustainable model of development that could be replicated around the world.  

In anticipation of Ms. Subramanian's presentation, pick up a free copy of her book, A River Runs Again starting April 1st, while supplies last. She will be joining us for her virtual presentation from Spain and will be recorded and later shared to our Lake Oswego Reads YouTube channel. 

Register in advance for this meeting: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

For more information contact Nancy Niland at or (503) 675-2538


Meera Subramanian is an award-winning freelance journalist who writes narrative nonfiction about home in the personal and planetary sense, especially in a time of climate crisis. Her work has been published in Nature, The New York Times, The, and many others, and she is a contributing editor of Orion. She is the author of A River Runs Again: India’s Natural World in Crisis from the Barren Cliffs of Rajasthan to the Farmlands of Karnataka, which was short-listed for the Orion Book Award. Meera is also a co-director of the Religion & Environment Story Project and in the past she was a Knight Science Journalism fellow at MIT, Fulbright-Nehru senior research fellow, board president of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities at Princeton University. Based on a glacial moraine on the edge of the Atlantic, Meera is a perpetual wanderer who can’t stop digging in the dirt to plant perennials and looking up in search of birds. You can find her at

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