The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man by Jan Brueghel The Elder

Friday, March 4  and Saturday, March 5 Paul Smith’s College will be hosting a Catholic Climate Summit in which six Catholic ambassadors from all over the country will be holding talks and an open forum discussion about the importance of communicating the current state of the environment to students, faculty, staff, and the North Country community.

Thanks to a grant received from The National Science Foundation for a climate communication class held in Spring 2015, and in affiliation with Rob Carr at The Wild Center, Dr. Curt Stager has been working ferociously to bring the Paul Smith’s community together in spreading awareness of the ever-changing environmental conditions we, and future generations, will face. This unique class’s goal was to create compelling and understandable means for informing the community about climate change in the Adirondack North Country. After the success of the class, and several talks held by students and Dr. Stager himself on the role of spiritual groups in growing a working community of climate change warriors, it was decided that a climate summit would be held here at the college this spring, where these six individuals would present their take on climate communication.

Although the grant did not provide enough money to continue the class this spring semester, it provided the means for transporting and boarding the six ambassadors here in the North Country for the summit. The talks will also feature a presentation by senior Leanne Ketner, who had taken the climate communication class in the past year.

“It is very exciting, because they are volunteers around the country who work to support Pope Francis’s mission. It is part of the grass roots movement to take care of the Earth not just as a scientific issue, but as a moral issue, so it’s an exciting time to see this around the world and to have the representatives from the Catholic Faith coming here to Paul Smith’s,” Dr. Stager stated this past week in preparation for the event this Friday. “It’s a great showcase for the college to have this kind of activity.”

It is hoped that bringing this unique group from the faith community will present a new view on faith groups’ role in fighting for our Earth’s future. Dr. Stager made the point that for many years the science and faith community have been perceived as enemies with radical differences, when in fact throughout history they were really working as allies. In addition to this, the goal of the Catholic ambassadors is to further Pope Francis’s mission to bring this science and faith alliance back together again.

Traditionally we have viewed science with just our heads, however with pressing ethical issues such as climate change and environmental degradation globally, it is time to also follow our hearts and work together as a community as one.

The Workshops will begin in the afternoon on Saturday March 5  in Freer Auditorium, and will continue with a open panel discussion with all six of the ambassadors at 7:30p.m.

Read More: Pope Francis’ climate ambassadors to convene at Paul Smith’s College 

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