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Risk as a characteristic of modernity? New arguments in an old debate

18 August 2011
Victims of Natural disasters in 2009. Foto Credito: Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters

T.P. “A huge majority of EU citizens care deeply about the environment,” states a recent press release  from the European Commission.  It corresponds often to the dynamics of environmental disasters, that hazards of major social and environmental technologies become a major focus.  Fukushima and Deepwater Horizon – like any other environmental disaster – again...
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Gender aspects of climate change

18 July 2011
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Irene Dankelman One of the most persistent inequalities in our societies consists of the (socially constructed) inequality between women and men. And this is despite the progress that has been made in recent years in achieving Millennium Development Goal 3 on gender equality, mainly by improving the access of girls to education. Women are...
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Climate migration and urbanisation: possible scenarios for urgent environmental concerns

17 June 2011
Climate induced migration. Photo credits:

Hervé Pierre Guillot SJ In its June 2011 issue, Etudes, “magazine de culture contemporaine” published by the French Province of the Society of Jesus since 1856, gives an insight into two major issues directly linked with environmental concerns: climate migration and urbanisation. Both issues are considered less in an alarmist than in a positive...
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From a theological perspective: Disaster and a universal new beginning

16 May 2011
Rebuilding homes in same area after a destructive flashflood, Philippines

Niko Bilić SJ The well-known narration of the book of Genesis on the history of the first covenant in the Bible touches the issue of a massive disaster and a new beginning, giving hope in the worst scenarios of our modern environmental situation. The setting is famous: The sky becomes quiet, the sunlight is...
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Sustainability: A principle of Christian ethics?

18 April 2011
River in South Cotabato, Mindanao, Philippines.  Photo credit:Jose Andres Ignacio, ESSC

Markus Vogt The globalization of environmental and social questions cannot adequately be responded to by setting up individual standards; it also calls us to question the principles by which politics and economy are organized. The task is to develop normative guidelines for the regulation of social conflicts, and for the design of social structures...
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A view from North America: Eating the earth

17 March 2011
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Gregory Kennedy, SJ “He who has a why to live,” aphorized Nietzsche, “can bear with almost any how.” Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl got good mileage from this compact insight. Frankl, pace Freud, argued that the most primal of human urges are not sexual in nature, but rather existential. At our most basic level, what drives...
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Natural Resources and Conflicts

15 February 2011
Mining in Congo

Emmanuelle Devuyst Many countries in the world that are rich in natural resources are poorly developed and politically unstable. This apparent paradox has been the basis for the development of the economic theory of resource curse. Within the last 60 years, about 40% of internal conflicts have been fuelled by natural resources, and such...
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Cancun syndrome

21 January 2011
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Silvia Ribeiro Ms Ribeiro shares with us her reflections and frustrations in the recently concluded climate change discussions in Cancun, Mexico. She is a researcher at the National University of Mexico and at the international network ETC (an action group on erosion, technology, and concentration). She is also an advisor to Red de Defensa...
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“Global yet equitable: Combating climate change, enabling development,” a new report from German stakeholders

14 December 2010
1012_Reflection_Global yet equitable_Combating climate change, enabling development

Climate and development policy have reached an impasse. The international community’s political efforts are not even close to producing adequate responses to these momentous challenges. One important aspect is to bring together climate change mitigation and development policy. This has prompted four different partners to join forces: Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the Institute...
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Higher Education Institutions in Spain and Sustainability

11 November 2010
Higher Education Institutions in Spain and Sustainability

On October 15th a meeting was held at the Pontifical University of Comillas-Madrid by several members of UNIJES (Spanish Jesuit Institutions of Higher Education) under the theme of “Natural Resources and Sustainability”. This was a preliminary meeting in order to assess the possibilities to establish a permanent working group in the framework of UNIJES....
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