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Dublin conference on the impact of climate change

By Sarah Mac Donald - 17 September, 2015

Care for the EarthThe relationship between economics and ecology will be one of the issues explored at this weekend’s national conference on climate change and the environment in Dublin.

Over Friday evening and Saturday, experts in climate science, economics, climate justice and biblical scholarship will explore a host of themes at the Church of the Ascension in the Dublin parish of Balally.

Professor John Fitzgerald, who is chair of the advisory committee to the Government on the environment, will address the conference on Saturday morning in a talk titled ‘Ecology and Economics’.

Organiser of the conference, Fr Dermot Lane, who is the retired president of Mater Dei Institute of Education, told CatholicIreland.net, “The purpose of the conference is to mediate the prophetic content of Pope Francis’s new encyclical on the environment.”

He said it was also aimed at raising consciousness about the ongoing crisis of climate change and informing people ahead of the upcoming international conference in Paris in December 2015.

Dr Lane said the speakers would highlight the importance of justice between the nations and between the generations as well as help them address the question raised in Laudato Si’: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us”.

Another aspect of the conference is to inform people so that they can demand that politicians prioritise climate justice within the political agenda, as well as to encourage people to pursue politicians and public representatives on where they stand in regard to action for climate justice locally and globally, especially in local elections and in the upcoming general election.

Local TDs and councillors as well as parishioners and NGOs will attend the two-day conference which will also incorporate a lament on the cry of the Earth and the poor through music performed by the well known violinist Sarah Lane. Poetry readings will also take place throughout the conference.

Other speakers include the Columban eco theologian, Dr Sean McDonagh, Fr Padraig McCarthy, Dominican Dr Celine Mangan, Dr Lorna Gold, as well as Professor John Fitzgerald and Dr Dermot Lane.

The conference schedule is as follows:

Friday 18th September 2015

7.30pm                 Welcome and introduction: Dr. Dermot. Lane

7.40pm                 Musical Lament for the pain of the earth: Sarah Lane on violin

7.50pm                 An Overview of Laudato Si’ : Fr.Padraig McCarthy

8.10pm                 Visual representation of the encyclical

8.15pm                 Dr Sean McDonagh: “Background to and development of the Encyclical”

9.15pm                 Poem: What did you do once you knew?

9.20pm                 Conclusion / Tea and coffee

Saturday 19th September 2015

9.30am                 Musical Lament

9.40am                 Second Poetry reading: Tragic Error by Denise Levertov

9.45am                 Dr Celine Mangan, OP: “What does the Bible say?”

10.25am               Musical Lament

10.30am               Professor John Fitzgerald: “Ecology and Economics”

11.25am               Tea and sandwiches

12.15pm               Dr Lorna Gold: “Policy for Church Leaders and Politicians”

1.10pm                 Third Poetry reading

1.15pm                 Dr. Dermot A. Lane: “Theology in support of Ecological Conversion”

2.10pm                 Open Forum: Chaired by Dr. Sandra Cullen

2.40pm                 Fourth Poetry reading: Beginners by Denise Levertov

2.45pm                 Musical celebration: For the Beauty of the Earth by John Rutter

2.50pm                 Closure and refreshments

Dates:     Friday 18th September 2015: 7.30pm – 9.30pm
Saturday 19th September 2015: 9.30am- 2.30pm
Venue: Balally Community Centre, Cedar Road, Wedgewood, Dublin 16.
Admission free (donations appreciated)

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