April 15, 2021
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – On Earth Day (April 22), Wilfrid Laurier University is hosting the next lecture in its Inspiring Conversations series. The Science and Philosophy of Environmental Changes will focus on the impacts, both positive and negative, the pandemic and large-scale economic shutdowns have had on the environment and how we approach sustainability.
The lecture, moderated by Priyanka Lloyd (MBA ’11), executive director of Green Economy Canada, will feature Hind Al-Abadleh, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Stephen Haller, associate professor in the Social and Environmental Justice program, who will discuss the environment and sustainability from both scientific and philosophical perspectives.
“On Earth Day, we ask ourselves, ‘How will we respond to the situation we are in today?’” said Haller. “Will we pretend that things are all OK and try to return to business-as-usual? Or will we recognize the challenge of our time and meet the responsibility of consciously deciding what to do? Decisions about what to do are often ethical decisions, not scientific ones.”
While the pandemic has had some positive impacts on the environment, specifically as it relates to air quality, Al-Abadleh says that how we exit the pandemic and lockdowns will be the bigger test.
“The socioeconomic lockdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic are an experiment that can teach us an important lesson about fighting air pollution and climate change,” said Al-Abadleh. “We collectively need to recognize the opportunities that our generation can seize as we emerge from the pandemic to build a more resilient and sustainable future.”
The Science and Philosophy of Environmental Changes will take place on April 22 at 11:30 a.m. on Zoom. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.
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