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Climate Change - Faiths find Common Ground in an Inconvenient Truth

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Interfaith forum on Climate Change.

2 - 5pm Sunday April 22nd 2007

Link to Report 'Australia's faith communities on climate change'

Our Environment - A Report on the Climate Change Event

On Sunday 22nd April 2007 Interfaith Forum ACT organised a workshop entitled “Our Environment”. Around sixty people attended the discussions held at the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre Civic Square.

Ms Trish Harrap, the Director of the Conservation Council of S.E. Region and Canberra introduced the first item. She showed a power point presentation of an Australian version of “An Inconvenient Truth” based in part on some of the information in the original film produced by Al Gore, and containing some up-dates of information and more references to changes in our own region. With graphs and charts she discussed the balance between natural variability of climate and the changes brought about through human activity. From some of the conclusions it would seem that the map of the world might need redrawing.

Three factors were discussed as having an effect on climate change:-

1) The population explosion.

2) The science/technology revolution

3) Our ways of thinking and lifestyle

Three misconceptions were also highlighted:-

1) It is a misconception that there is disagreement among scientists on the issue: but Trish showed that a large global group of scientists were all in agreement on the essential climate-change facts; only the media tend to express doubts about it.

2) It is a misconception that there is a need to choose between the economy and the environment; it is not an either-or-situation, we need to maintain both.

3) It is a misconception that the problem is so large that we cannot cope.

In the second section of the workshop representatives from eleven faith groups gave a short expression of how their beliefs affected our responsibilities and responses towards the environment. Each representative had been referred to the Climate Institute Publication “Common Belief” which was published in December 2006.

This booklet contains short presentations from religious leaders from sixteen faiths or denominations. Representatives quoted from their Scriptures about personal and community responsibilities to God, our creator, with respect to care of our gifted Earth and avoiding abuse of our heritage. Comments included both our material and spiritual responsibilities.

Refreshments were then provided in very environmentally friendly containers

For the third section another power-point presentation was prepared by Sr. Carmel Wallis , the Director of the Erin Earth Project in Wagga Wagga. Since she could not be present, Vernon Bailey gave a commentary on the approaches and successes of the 10 year project which has produced an environmentally friendly garden with information about the uses of local native plants, innovative use of water and vigorous interchange with and impact on the local community. The project, now well established, is often visited by schools as an educational project.

At the end of the afternoon the assembly was invited to discuss ways in which a Faith Group Garden action plan could be started in Canberra. The suggestions will be followed up by the faith groups at later meetings of Interfaith Forum. The next meeting of IFFACT which will discuss this issue will be on Sunday 10th June at 4 p.m. at 38, Wisdom Street, Hughes.

Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre

2nd Fl above Canberra Museum & Gallery
North Building, 180 London Circuit
Civic Square Canberra ACT

1 'An Inconvenient Truth' A live PowerPoint presentation by Trish Harrap, Director, Conservation Council of SE Region & Canberra.
2 Different faith groups present views on Climate based on the Climate Institute Publication 'A Common Belief'

3 'Experiencing Environment' a PowerPoint presentation by Sister Carmel

4 Faith Groups Garden Action Plan Discussion and suggestions welcome.

Sunday April 22nd 2 - 5 pm

Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre

2nd Fl above Canberra Museum & Gallery
North Building, 180 London Circuit
Civic Square Canberra ACT

Refreshments provided. Gold coin donation appreciated.

Enter supporting content here

IFF ACT is supported by members of Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian Denominations, Muslim, Sikh, Baha'i, Sathya Sai, Brahma Kumaris, & Sukyo Mahikari communities.