Laudato Si: A Case for Action or Wasted Opportunity?


Neil Ormerod, Australian Catholic University

Neil spoke on the topic Laudato Si: A Case for Action or Wasted Opportunity? In Laudato Si Pope Francis is considering how to re-orientate environmental thinking as a non-negotiable element of Christian life. By doing so the Pope rejects one interpretation of Genisis 1:28 and seeks to prompt a change in lifestyles away from consumerism and the techno-economic paradigm. It is clear that in Laudato Si the Pope wants to have a direct impact not only on the Catholic Church but also more broadly.  However, a recent National Church Life Survey shows that a large number of Catholics are not familiar with Laudato Si.  Concluding that while the sleeping giant of the church may have arisen, more is needed for a fuller awakening on the issue.  Participants raised a number of questions including, whether Laudato Si has influenced government thinking, a number of questions about a just transition in light of cross border effects, and broader questions including how to communicate all of these issues and stories to a wider audience. 


This talk was held at:

Imagining a Different Future

Climate Justice Conference

The University of Tasmania with the support of the University of Utrecht Ethics Institute hosted a multidisciplinary conference examining the barriers to responding to climate change, implementing climate justice, and proposing ways forward. Among the keynote speakers were Law Faculty Professors Jan McDonald and Ben Richardson. The Law Faculty's Dr Peter Lawrence co-convened the conference with Jan Linehan. The conference took place in Hobart from 8-9 Feb 2018.

Despite the Paris Agreement, there are real concerns the prevailing neoliberal economic and political model, particularly with the move to more insular, nationalistic, fragile politics, cannot respond effectively to climate change and excludes key considerations such as ethics and justice. Videos and Podcasts from the conference are available on the Knowledge Hub.