Public lecture: Imagining our way to the future of our planet

A free public lecture will explain how stories, faiths, science and action can combine to help us imagine our way to a better future for our planet, at the University of Bath on Wednesday 16 February.

Speaker Martin Palmer is head of the Alliance of Religions & Conservation (ARC), an international organisation founded by HRH Prince Philip to help the major religions of the world to develop environmental programmes based on their own core teaching, beliefs and practices.

He is a theologian, author and environmentalist, and regularly appears on BBC radio and television as a presenter and contributor.

Martin has recently been appointed as a special adviser to the United Nations on Climate Change, the Environment and Faiths, where he is heading up a three-year programme.

He said: “If the environmental crisis was just a crisis of information, it would be over. We know what is happening to the planet, we have the data and the analysis, but the necessary changes in human behaviour and attitudes has not taken place.

“The truth is no-one is actually converted by pie-charts or data flows. They are converted by stories and this is where the faiths have wisdom about how to help people change which is now becoming a major factor in the evolving civil society movements to protect nature.

“The fastest growing environmental movements are all religiously based and the largest civil society movement to protect nature is the faith based actions world wide.

“How can the narrative tradition and the celebratory nature of faith, partner with the scientific information and insights, in such a way as to help us imagine and then create a better future?

The lecture is organised in conjunction with the University’s Chaplaincy. The Reverend Angela Berners-Wilson, the University Chaplain, said:

"With cyclone Yasi hitting Queensland so soon after the devastating floods, and the eastern seaboard of the USA under 19 inches of snow, who can doubt that Climate Change is a reality?

“Come and find out more from Martin Palmer, a fascinating, highly entertaining and rigorous speaker.”

Martin Palmer is one of the foremost translators of ancient Chinese texts with many published translations.

He advises UNESCO on World Heritage sites and helps the World Monuments Fund with protecting endangered sacred sites

The lecture, which has been organised by the Division for Lifelong Learning in conjunction with the University Chaplaincy, will be held on Wednesday 16 February from 5.15pm to 6.15pm in Lecture Theatre 8 West 1.1.

The lecture is free and there is no need to book. Free parking is available in the West car park at the Claverton Campus from 5pm.

This lecture is part of the Spring General University Lecture Programme (GULP).

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