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  • DePaul University, 2400 N Sheffield Ave Chicago, IL, 60614 United States (map)


Date: April 20, 2015 6:00 PM

Location: DePaul University, Welcome Center, 2400 N Sheffield Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

In 2014 the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change issued its Fifth Assessment Report, building from nearly thirty years of research and reporting. The report focuses largely on strategies of adaptation and mitigation, given a number of ominous trends that are becoming clearer. In 2015 Pope Francis is expected to release the first papal encyclical on ecology, which will likely focus on the effects of climate change especially on the poor. More locally, DePaul’s Institutional Sustainability Plan identifies a number of objectives for the university to address sustainability-related challenges through its curriculum, facilities operations, research, and community engagement. Each of these different communities shares a deep concern about climate change and its impacts in the 21st century. While it may seem that these challenges are unprecedented, Dr. Geoffrey Parker argues that climate change has been a driver of human conflict in the not too distant past; for historians, the 17th century is commonly understood as a particularly violent century across the globe. What lessons might be learned from the past about climate change?

On Monday, April 20th Dr. Geoffrey Parker will give the annual Vincent de Paul lecture as a kickoff event for Earth Week 2015 at DePaul University. His book Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century received the Sunday Times’ History Book of the Year in 2013 for its comprehensive analysis and stunning breadth, which surveys the impacts of climate change on human populations across the globe.

Fr. Edward Udovic, CM, Senior Executive for University Mission and Associate Professor of History will respond to Dr. Parker, noting the ways in which Vincent de Paul, the patron Saint of DePaul University, responded to the human suffering he witnessed in France caused by decades of social, economic, political, and religious turmoil.

Dr. Elisabeth Moyer, Associate Professor in the Dept. of the Geophysical Sciences at the University of Chicago and co-director of the Center for Robust Decision-making in Climate and Energy Policy, will also respond to Dr. Parker, focusing on the likely impacts of climate change in coming decades.


600-630      Reception, Foyer of the Welcome Center

630-640      Introductions

640-710      Lecture

715-740      Panel Responses and Questions from Panelists

740-800      Selected Questions from the Audience

Cost: Free