Climate change and a ticking clock

Ireland’s leading climate scientist is to a address Letterkenny climate justice event this month. The Nobel Peace Prize-winner will talk about the impacts of climate change here & overseas -

Emeritus Professor John Sweeney of NUI Maynooth will address the topic, ‘Climate Change: the clock is ticking’ at an event in Letterkenny Regional Cultural Centre on Friday 13th February at 7.30pm. 

Members of the public are invited to this event, which will be co-hosted by Eco-Congregation Ireland (ECI) and Raphoe Justice and Peace Group.

Prof Sweeney is currently leading a research programme into the impacts of climate change in Ireland and into the production of climate scenarios for Ireland for mid and end century. As one of the contributing authors and a review editor of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Prof Sweeney shared, with several hundred other climatologists, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

“Time is running out for taking decisive action to avoid dangerous climate change,” he says. “In Ireland political paralysis and vested interests are preventing us from meeting our agreed international obligations. As individuals and a society, our ethical responsibilities demand we take seriously what is generally agreed to be the major problem of the 21st century. As preparations continue for what will be a crucial UN meeting in Paris in December, it is clear that a radical change in our approach is required if we are not to condemn the next generation to a seriously damaged planet."

ECI is a project of the Irish Inter-Church Meeting that encourages churches to adopt an eco-friendly approach to worship, lifestyle, property management, community outreach and contact with the developing world. Raphoe Justice and Peace Group is an inter-church group that aims to promote peace, justice and the integrity of creation by identifying local and global issues of injustice and educating and empowering communities to take action.

Encouraging people from all walks of life to attend, Rev John Purdy, Minister of Dunkineely Methodist Church and member of both ECI and Raphoe Justice and Peace Group, said: "In Donegal we have a sense that time stands still, but even here changes happen.  Farming is different to how it was, the increased number of cars on the road, the number of big new houses compared to small thatched cottages of yesteryear, modernised industry and technological advances, the food from all parts of the world on supermarket shelves – all changes we have seen that also play a part in changing the world at large.  ‘Climate change: the clock is ticking’ is a talk that will give us insights into changes that will happen not only to polar ice-caps and sub-Saharan Africa but to life for the average man and woman here in the North-West.  Be sure to be informed before it is too late."

Following Prof Sweeney’s talk, members of two eco-congregations will give short presentations about the steps they have taken to ‘green’ their churches.  All are welcome to attend this event. Suggested donation: €10.

For further information – and to see ECI’s wide range of resources, including a new resource on climate change - see www.ecocongregationireland.com.