Climate Change, Climate Chaos and Climate Justice
Hey King's, how's it going?
As some of you may know, King's hosts an Interdisciplinary Studies (I.S.) Conference every semester that all students attend. This year's topic is Change Is In The Air: From Climate Chaos to Climate Justice. Scientific consensus shows that climate change is real and the threat it poses to the planet and its inhabitants is severe. These warnings have prompted appeals for change across the entire fabric of society, its relationship with creation and how policy could produce action. Change is also in the air in the ways that communities are responding to the challenge of global warming. Increasingly, the reliance on carbon and the carbon economy is being questioned by political leaders around the globe. With a global climate agreement imminent, change is inevitable. The I.S. Conference will look at these changes and how they are influencing today's discussion on climate change. Here's some of the highlights from the conference:
Climate Change: Facts, Fictions and Our Faith
One of our keynote speakers, Katharine Hayhoe, an Atmosphere Scientist who studies climate change, bridges the gap between scientists and Christians. She addressed commonly held misconceptions about climate change and eloquently presented the facts: one, 97% of scientists recognize that climate change is real; two, the earth's temperature has increased by 1°C in the past few hundred years; three, climate change is not the result of natural causes like El Niño, an increase in solar energy, or fluctuating global temperatures over time (in fact the opposite is true for all three points); and four, climate change is the result of human activity and our production of CO2 emissions. Check out SkepticalScience.com, which is run by Christian scientists that present the facts about climate change. Katharine ended her presentation on a hopeful note: as Christians, we should not be acting out of a spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). With correct information, discernment and a willingness to change, we can change the course of climate change.
One of the breakout sessions was a screening of the film "Cowspiracy", an environmental documentary on the destructive nature of the animal agricultural industry. Animal production leads to deforestation, increased water consumption and pollution, and is one of the leading contributors to greenhouse gases. The film encourages viewers to decrease their consumption of meat, particularly beef, or better yet to pursue a vegetarian lifestyle. It's good food for thought (sorry, pun intended) and you should check it out when you get the chance!
King's Research For Change
One of the presenters is our very own Dr. Randolph Haluza-DeLay, a Sociology prof here at King's. He and Ashley Fischer, a 4th year Psychology Student, have been conducting research on Environmental Sociology and social change movements. Their focus is on how various Edmontonians of diverse religious backgrounds see climate change and how their understandings of their faith and science combine on this issue. The I.S. Conference was a great platform for them to continue their research and learn from all those involved.
We hope this I.S. Conference challenged your beliefs and got you thinking, and we hope you're psyched for the next I.S. Conference!