Tag Archives: Climate Change

3 More Climate Concepts from Catholicism

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Energy

With the crucial UN Climate Conference taking place in Paris, 30 Nov–11 Dec 2015, it is fitting to look at some alternative ideas that have been published partly in an attempt to influence it. In a previous article I introduced Pope Francis’ environmentalist manifesto, Laudato si’, as a radical social justice document, and noted that recent papal writings have developed four concepts on debt, waste, ecology, and poverty. In that article I focused on Francis’ concept of ‘ecological debt’, so here I will overview the remaining three: ‘the culture of waste’, ‘integral ecology’, and ‘the earth as the poor’. Read the rest of this entry

Papal Environmentalism’s “Ecological Debt”

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This article of mine was originally published on The Partially Examined Life

That the Pope refers to experts rather than his own scientific research does not nullify Rick Santorum's embarrassment here.

That the Pope cites experts rather than scientific research of his own does not nullify Rick Santorum’s embarrassment.

If you needed proof that Pope Francis’ recent encyclical letter on care for the environment, Laudato si’, was not only seminal but radical, it would be that it is now being published by Verso, a leading publisher of leftist continental philosophy. It is sad then, that rather than focusing on the ideas themselves, all of the attention being given to this event is to sensationalist reactions to the Pope among conservatives- not least of all when he visited the USA. Even the respected philosopher Robert P. George tried to downplay Francis’ ability to know that climate change is anthropogenic, presenting the consensus on the matter by 97% of scientists as if it were of equal weight to the opposite opinion. But as Francis says in the document, this consensus means that the burden of proof is on the proponents of a business as usual approach to demonstrate that it will not cause serious harms. (§186) In this piece I will engage with just a little of the criticism of Francis, as an aid to clarify the ideas as well as to examine their limitations. Read the rest of this entry

Yucky Girly Nature

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Some robust points here which I fully agree with; click the link to view the full article. // My comment: In this age of soundbite tweets the term ‘ecofeminist’ is useful firstly just to save the effort of writing both environmentalist and feminist. Secondly, it marks out an environmentalism which, rather than being a single-issue concern with fixing climate change to save our own arses, is grounded in a consistent life ethic, a set of values that give us guidance across all moral questions. These values are feminine in the sense that they are the humanistic values that have been emphasised from the types of experiences that have historically tended to be those of women. No claim to gender essentialism is necessary, but it is important for women to challenge patriarchal ideology that domination, for example, is a much higher value than care.

lizmckinnell

This is one of those needing-to-get-something-off-my-chest posts, or to put it a more gendered way, one of those things-that-get-on-my-tits posts.

Something that I have come to notice in a few discussions lately (in academic articles, conference papers and on internet discussion forums – it gets everywhere) is a particular identification of women with nature. Of course, this is not a new thing – it has been around for thousands of years. I have been seeing it come up in order to make points supposedly in support of feminist ideas, and also in support of pretty silly anti-feminist ones that should have been consigned to the dustbin quite some time ago.

So let’s get something straight – as a woman I do not have privileged access to the secrets of life. Having a vagina, breasts and a womb does not put me in touch with the sacred feminine. I do not…

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Star Wars and the Intersection of Game Play with Storytelling – Changing Our Collective Stories

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Another fascinating post, which again relates to more than just the transition towns movement and storytelling. (Click through to the site to view the article properly.)

Transition Consciousness

Maria and I finished our Star Wars marathon this weekend when we watched Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. In this episode we witness Anakin Skywalker’s conversion to the dark side, in order to save Padmé from dying, an event he foresaw in a vision.

Star Wars

On the Blu Ray release there were many great additional features on the bonus DVD, one being a recording of a preliminary meeting of George Lucas and his production team as they develop the series The Clone Wars. George Lucas re-acquaints his team with his vision of the force and his instruction is really worth exploring:

We have a destiny which we follow. We live for a reason, and must discover what it is.

The core of the force, you have the light side and the dark side. One side is self-less, the other is selfish. We want to keep them in balance. What happens…

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A slightly deeper look at Storytelling

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A fascinating post in relation to a number of different issues. (Click through to the site to view the article properly.)

Transition Consciousness

While doing my masters degree at Schumacher College, I took part in the Transition Towns movement in Totnes, and spent time with the Transition Tales team, a small and pioneering team who formed part of Transition Towns Totnes, the first Transition Town in the world. One of the aims of this project is to raise awareness within Primary and Secondary School children of the transition solution of community led response to the twin challenges of Peak Oil and Climate Change by creating positive stories. This is done in partnership with local schools in the Totnes area, either as part of class time, or in after-school clubs.

I have written up the history of Transition Tales, how they formed, and how they worked with schools. You can read my essay here which was also published in the on-line journal Energy Bulletin.

Both Maria and I have a deep interest in education…

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2k Consortium Report On Global Temperature Variance

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A major analysis of cutting edge studies has been published in Nature Geoscience this week by an international team of over 70 scientists. Although the authors rightly qualify that their report is not designed in the terms of ‘attribution studies’ which is the most reliable approach to distinguishing causes, their ‘region-up’ analysis of global temperature variance over the last 2,000 years found exactly what would be expected if the current consensus on anthropogenic climate change (ACC) was correct.

Global temperatures were warmer between 1970 and 2000 -the period with the greatest greenhouse gas emissions- than in any other period in the last 1,400 years. This is despite the fact that we should still be experiencing a long period of global cooling which began c.1580 AD, because, as the study indicates, rises and falls in global temperature take place very gradually over long periods. Recent warming, with its rapid arrival in the late 19th century is: 1) by contrast, too sudden to fit the pattern for natural shifts in global temperature, and 2) also perfectly correlated with where we would expect to find warming if it were caused by the explosion of polluting industrial activity, and 3) inexplicable by natural causes such as volcanic eruptions and changes in solar irradiance. Such natural causes do, however, predict earlier periods of significant change which were often short lasting but in such cases were always restricted to small regions, unlike the current global change.

The report therefore adds ‘the Earth has warmed up like this in the past’ to the ever growing list of arguments favoured by the ideological (i.e. bribed) opponents of ACC science [1] [2] [3] to have been refuted empirically. If you are at all interested in the other items on this list and how they relate to the evidence for ACC, why this climate change is such a catastrophic threat to human civilisation, and what actions we can be taking to ameliorate it, I wholeheartedly recommend The No-Nonsense Guide To Climate Change (2nd Edition) by Danny Chivers as an extremely succinct introduction.

Working Less?

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Adverts annoy me. Particularly uninvited adverts in public spaces- especially in green, residential spaces. I often fantisise about vandalising them, a la Banksy. In recent months I was even irritated by an advert for charity. Now, I don’t mean that I got people to sign up to sponsor me for every ad I endured, I mean there was an advert for charitable purposes which frustrated me every time I passed by. Read the rest of this entry