SARAH KICK | NEWS CORRESPONDENT
The Norman Miller Center hosted three panel discussions about climate change taking different perspectives: economical, theological and political. The third and final panel discussion of “Laudato Si” was on Tuesday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. in Fort Howard Theater and took a political approach on the Pope’s view of climate change.
The panel featured Tom Stolp, Deputy Director of the League of Conservation Voters, and Greg Grohman ’16 , a sociology and history major at St. Norbert College.
Stolp and Grohman spoke about climate change, their feelings toward the issue and how Pope Francis is dealing with it. Stolp applauded Pope Francis for making progress with the issue even through three major roadblocks. The three roadblocks Stolp spoke of were 1) climate change is science and science is hard to communicate, 2) the climate change issue is missing ethics and 3) the problem or partisanship in our government.
Stolp also spoke of how the Pope understands that science is ongoing, however: “We have the best research for now and one experiment will not make a difference. The Pope encourages us to move forward with the science we now have, saying it is the best we have for the moment.”
“We need more people to take up the charge that Pope Francis has put out there,”said Stolp.
The term “Laudato Si” itself is meant to tie together the entire theme of the encyclical, saying that “God is found in nature and we should treat it like so. Climate change impacts nature which means it essentially impacts God.”
Grohman also spoke of Pope Francis in a good light, mentioning how Pope Francis questions how we want to leave the world for the children who are now growing up.
“While SNC students are willing to acknowledge the reality of climate change, few are committed to changing their lifestyles in any way that would compromise their comfort and convenience,”said Grohman. “Adopting a lifestyle that aligns with your ethical convictions and refocuses your relationship with the environment, however, certainly will make you happy.”
Grohman is also President of the Environmental Club on campus, where he practices and lives out what he believes in.
“SNC students overwhelmingly recognize that they have an ethical obligation to protect our environment; I urge them to respond to their convictions. To get involved, simply ask someone who already is. Our community—campus and beyond—is full of opportunities to become engaged. Obviously, I recommend Environmental Club, but there are other organizations on campus that are also engaged in tremendous work: I applaud Garden Club and Oxfam in particular. And outside of SNC, the list of fantastic community partners goes on and on,”said Grohman, encouraging students to act on their sense of ethical responsibility.