Liberal Arts in the Age of Climate Change: Dr. Gaël Giraud on the Challenges of Sustainability Transitions

Gaël Giraud, Director of the Georgetown Environmental Justice Program and Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy, gave the closing plenary address at the 21st annual Conversation on the Liberal Arts, at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA. The conference, held from March 2nd to March 4th, revolved around the following theme: “Educating for the Unknown. Liberal Arts in the Age of Climate Change”. It aimed at answering a major question: “In a world transformed by climate change, how can a liberal arts education prepare us for the future?” 

Dr. Giraud’s presentation was entitled “Some Spiritual Challenges of Fair Sustainability Transitions” and built upon the key concept of just sustainability transition, which lies at the heart of EJP’s philosophy. The presentation also emphasized the need to tackle the challenges induced by climate change all at once, as it is a holistic problem, whose dimensions (temperature, water, energy, biomass, resources) are interconnected. Having a holistic and interdisciplinary approach is at the core of EJP’s research agenda.