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Change is in the Air

 2016 Winter I.S. Conference Brochure

Change is in the air, and in more ways than one.  On one hand, the climate is changing.  Overwhelming scientific consensus confirms the reality of climate change and warns of the threat it poses to the planet and its human and non-human inhabitants.  These warnings have prompted urgent appeals, not simply for changes in action and policy, but also deeper changes in how we think about and imagine our relationship to the creation itself.  But change is in the air in other ways too – as vulnerable communities respond to the challenge of global warming, as our reliance on the carbon economy is being questioned, and as political leaders try to hammer out a global climate agreement, change is inevitable. 

The King’s University welcomes you to its Winter I.S Conference, Change is in the Air: from Climate Chaos to Climate Justice, to be held January 20, 21, 2016.  Join us to learn from keynote speakers Katharine Hayhoe and Michael Northcott, and several other guest presenters.  In addition to daytime events there will be a panel conversation featuring Hayhoe, Northcott, Andrew Leach, John Parkins, Willard Metzger and others on Wednesday evening, January 20 at 7:30 in the Atrium at King’s.

More information to follow in January or contact


Keynote address descriptions:

Listen here:
 IS WINTER 2016 Jan 20 AM Hayhoe
Climate change is one of the most hotly debated scientific issues of today. But, is the evidence solid? Are proposed solutions viable? And why would anyone care? Join Katharine Hayhoe as she untangles the complex science behind global warming and highlights the key role our faith and values play in shaping our attitudes and actions on this crucial topic.

Listen here: IS WINTER 2016 Jan 20 PM Northcott

The science is now pretty much unambiguous. And if that weren't enough there if no place on earth where the weather is normal any more. For people in the developed world new weather is a problem they are learning to deal with. For people in the developing world new weather including stronger storms, rising sea levels, enduring droughts and extreme precipitation events are increasingly presenting survival issues. Fossil fuels burned mainly in the developed world are responsible for the problem. But despite decades of understanding the response this far has been very weak. From a Christian perspective the duty to reduce the human influence on the climate arises first abs foremost from the human victims of climate change. In this lecture Professor Northcott lays out the case for the churches treating the climate crisis as a confessional moral and spiritual challenge. 

Listen here: IS WINTER 2016 Jan 21 AM Hayhoe

As Christians, we believe that God gave us this amazing planet we lived on, and calls on us to express His love to the world. If we view the Earth as God’s gift to us, how can we be good stewards of that gift? What does it mean to love others, when those with the least resources to adapt—both here at home, as well as on the other side of the world—are already being harmed by climate change? And how can our faith inform our perspectives on the provincial, national and international actions that are already being taken to tackle this global challenge?

Listen here: IS WINTER 2016 Jan 21 AM Duncan

Successive Canadian Governments have failed to live up to the commitments they made under international agreements to reduce greenhouse gases.  What actions should Canada take to ensure it makes a fair contribution to the goal of keeping global warming to 2°C or less?  Linda Duncan will look at the challenges facing Canadians and their governments and some of the solutions that will make the difference.

Listen here: IS WINTER 2016 Jan 21PM Northcott

It is easy to think of climate change as a problem for future generations. However the long run nature of the problem means that failure to act now locks future generations into a set of problems which will be irresolvable without active and deliberate management of the atmosphere. Some argue that the recently concluded Paris Agreement 2015 with its talk of carbon neutrality and holding global temperature rise to 1.5C already commits the nations to geoengineering. But there is currently no need for this extreme option other then a failure of political will. Some nations have already transitioned their energy systems to majority non carbon sources. However others and especially fossil fuel extracting nations are resisting moving to a post fossil fuel economy. But there are many other benefits to such an economy, leaving aside the fossil fuel smoke screen of climate science skepticism. In this lecture Professor Northcott argues that there are longstanding features of modern political economy that stand in the way of resolving the climate crisis, and that Christian political theology has unique elements which can aid in unmasking these and in revealing a hopeful alternative approach. 

The I.S. Conference

The Interdisciplinary Studies Conference is a two-day course each semester. I.S. is a practical way for students to begin to see where different academic disciplines  intersect. Dynamic speakers have challenged the King's community to think critically about issues such as the Alberta oil sands, homelessness, and  local and sustainable food production. Students attend workshops and breakout sessions then write a reflective essay on their experience.

Each I.S. Conference carries 0.5 credit weight, and students complete 3 credits in their degree.

Who Should Attend?

  • Students wanting to graduate from King's. In order to graduate you need 3 credits of I.S.
  • Everyone who wants to be illuminated, exhilarated, and inspired. The conference is open to the public.

If you are a full-time student (not in the B.Ed. after-degree program) taking three or more courses, you must attend and should already be registered for the I.S. conference.

What Do I Need to Do?

  1. Registration you should be automatically registered for the course – this applies to all full-time students who have not yet earned 3.0 credits in INST.  BUT, you must also enroll for the conference by visiting the registration table which will be set up by the cafeteria the Tuesday before the conference from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

  2. Invite your friends or coworkers to join us at the conference.
  3. Attend the two-day conference.
  4. King's students need to complete the assignment that will be distributed at the conference.