Tuesday, August 9, 2016: 8:00 PM-10:00 PM
Grand Floridian Blrm B, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Leanne M. Jablonski, Marianist Environmental Education Center
Gregory E. Hitzhusen, The Ohio State University; and
Ricardo Rozzi, Universidad de Magallanes
Great advances have been made in the complementary roles of scientists, justice and faith communities during 2015, particularly in changing societal perceptions of climate change and the value of science and religious partnerships. The release of Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical, Laudato si'
(June 2015) with its emphasis on dialogue and living an ‘integral ecology’ challenges ecologists to be working in partnership, and engaging in transformative solutions for a sustainable world. The growing momentum of the Ecological Society of America’s Earth Stewardship Initiative, and the release of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, work towards the Paris climate summit meetings and increase in ‘climate refugees’ have heightened the crisis and call for action. Polls after the Pope’s visit showed US belief in climate change reality increased over 10 %. Additionally, numerous conferences, speakers and dialogue events and media stories have highlighted approaches towards sustainable solutions and public policy decisions to act on climate and clean air at state, national and global levels.
We highlight the encyclical’s core challenges inviting ecologists to dialogue and partner across hemispheres, cultures and disciplines. Presenters from the ESA Environmental Justice (EJ) Section, the Ecology-Faith community outreach initiative, and public policy organizations (including Catholic Climate Covenant and Union of Concerned Scientists) will present summaries of impacts, and resources available. Building on the faith community outreach and ESA’s faith-justice-ecology partnerships, we will open a group discussion on how ecologists can engage locally and network to serve society with sound science and communication that addresses climate solutions and protects ecosystems.