Video recorded events

 

A Political Theology of Climate Change

Talk and Book Launch with Michael Northcott

Wednesday 14th May 6.30pm

The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Rd, Glasgow G51 3UU (near Govan underground station)

We were delighted to host CHE fellow Michael Northcott for the Glasgow launch of his latest book ‘A Political Theology of Climate Change’ Thanks to filmmaker Stuart Platt for producing this video of the event.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the only international treaty relating to reducing greenhouse gas emissions but it is not working. This is because national greenhouse gas emissions is the wrong target. Emissions are not the driving force of climate change but fossil fuel extraction. Once fossil fuels are extracted from sovereign territories they will be marketed and burned. But sovereign nations will not give up rights to license fossil fuel extraction because for the last one hundred years they were the dominant source of national wealth. Hence the current UK government’s determination to extract shale gas, and methane from coal beds, despite dangers to the environment.

In this lecture Michael Northcott argues that exemplary action by individuals, communities and nations – or what the Christian tradition calls political messianism – is capable of resolving the problem. Hence the efforts of climate activists and religious groups to make the social case for disinvesting in fossil fuel extraction. In a global market economy this is the only collective action solution to reducing the risk of dangerous climate change. National emissions targets, and carbon emissions trading, will not.

About Michael Northcott:

Michael Northcott is Professor of Ethics in the University of Edinburgh and a fellow of the Centre for Human Ecology. He is best known for his research and writing on the ethical and theological implications of climate change and the ecological crisis. He has authored or edited ten books and over eighty research papers. He has been visiting professor at Claremont School of Theology, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Flinders University, Melbourne University, and the University of Malaya. He is also an Episcopal Priest and in that capacity helps out in rural churches in Dumfrieshire where he also has a smallholding and enjoys mountain biking and hill running.