Metanoia on the Environment at UConn
The University of Connecticut has had a long history of convening Metanoia around important issues facing society that would benefit from deep reflection and discussion. In keeping with that tradition, we are happy to announce a Metanoia on The Environment over Spring Semester 2018. Many of the grave problems facing society in the 21st Century are environmental in nature, including issues of sustainability, water availability, food security, deforestation, and the loss of biodiversity. Because these problems are global, assuredly they will befall many nations and peoples that can least afford them.
There is urgent need for individuals, regions, nations to address our shared global challenges. Hurricanes Irma and Maria destroyed the island nations of Barbuda, Dutch St. Martin, Dominica, and Puerto Rico. Recent fires (and subsequent floods) in California have taken human lives and economic losses will top 3 billion dollars. Continued dependency on fossil fuels will increase the severity of storms, fires, droughts, and extreme events (e.g., floods and drought-linked famines) that have the potential to trigger massive human migration and refugee issues that could destabilize entire regions.
The University of Connecticut’s semester-long Metanoia on The Environment seeks to engage all members of the UConn community as well as those outside of our university. The Steering Committee is planning multiple events touching upon different environmental themes including biodiversity, food, sustainability, and the social injustices of climate change. The week leading up to Earth Day (Sunday, April 22-28) will be our focal week with multiple events, in-class content, speakers and films, and a number of outdoor activities.
UConn is already nationally recognized as a leader in environmental action and education among American higher learning institutions. Our goal is for UConn’s Metanoia on The Environment to carry beyond the confines of the university as well as bring to its campuses greater awareness of the challenges of the world and its peoples.