Mercer’s Atlanta campus will host a groundbreaking conference, titled “Caring for Creation: Ethical Responses to Climate Change,” Feb. 27-28 in the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center. The event is part of a campus-wide ethics initiative sponsored by the Atlanta Campus’ Quality Enhancement Plan committee, for Mercer faculty, students and staff on the Atlanta campus.
The QEP Atlanta mission is to enhance interdisciplinary reflection on ethical issues at Mercer through seminars and other events. Previous QEP seminars have focused on dimensions of moral decision making. This year’s conference marks a departure from past events, with its sustained attention to one issue: the environment, and, in particular, climate change.
“Caring for creation is a moral obligation incumbent on every human being. It should be especially important to Christians and other people of faith who recognize that creation belongs to God and that we are called to be good stewards of it,” said Dr. David Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and conference organizer. “Climate change is recognized by scientific authorities around the world as one of the leading long-term threats to the well-being of creation — especially to human beings, our health and our civilizations. This conference will bring together some of the world’s leading experts on climate and on creation care to explore these critically important issues.”
The conference marks a new partnership, pairing QEP Atlanta with the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. The center supports efforts in church-related higher education to advance discussion of climate change and other creation care concerns. With Harvard’s help, Mercer has secured the participation of leading scientists for this conference, such as Dr. Paul Epstein, a professor at Harvard who has written extensively on the impact of climate change on human health; Dr. Judith Curry, a professor at Georgia Tech and an expert on climate modeling and climate change; and Dr. Howard Frumkin, director of the National Center for Environmental Health, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The conference will begin on Friday night, Feb. 27, and include presentations on climate change science, the impact of climate change on human health, and ethical and religious perspectives on climate change. Saturday morning events will include workshops on topics including: national and international policy, greening the campus, climate and human health, sustainable agriculture, local policy, climate science, and religious and ethical issues.