Could you Suggest how we Might ‘Re-imagine Co Monaghan’s Future’?

Calling all artists and musicians, activists and pacifists, school teachers and shopkeepers, grandparents and young people, butchers, bakers and candlestick makers, GIY enthusiasts and farmers and as many imaginative, creative Monaghan people as possible to come alone and create the best fun inspiring and uplifting event Monaghan will see in 2016!

Transition Monaghan is seeking your views on how we can re – imagine Monaghan’s future to 2116, and so ensure that our county has the resilience to deal with the environmental, social and economic challenges of the 21st century. We are holding a brainstorming event on Saturday, 7 November, from 11am to 1pm in The Market House, Monaghan. People of all ages, backgrounds and interests are being invited to come along and express how best we can address the challenges and opportunities that face us in the next 100 years. The ideas generated will help us plan an exciting event next year as part of Monaghan County Council’s 1916 Commemorations. The event in 2016, entitled, ‘Re – Imagining Monaghan’s Future’ will feature a number of sessions, whereby artists, musicians, poets, story tellers, academics, and many more will express their views on what Monaghan could and should look like in a hundred years time.

If you are interested in writing a poem about climate change, a drama about the importance of community or a song about growing your own veg (as examples of some possible ideas!) then we why not come along to our brainstorm on Saturday, 7 November. The session, which is free to attend, will be facilitated by Dara Mac Gabhann, who is well – known from her work in Monaghan Community Forum and various arts and cultural organisations.  Tea and coffee will be provided.  If you have queries / ideas, please contact transitionmonaghan@gmail.com or call Mícheál on 086 865 2724. For information on Transition Monaghan see our Facebook page or our website http://www.transitionmonaghan.org.

COMING TOGETHER OF GENERATIONS AT MONAGHAN U3A CLIMATE JUSTICE CONFERENCE

Defying age – related stereotypes, over 120 people of all ages, attended the highly successful Climate Justice Conference on Friday last, organised by Monaghan U3A (University of the Third Age). The conference, entitled ‘What will we tell the children when they start to ask us why?’ focused on the intergenerational elements of climate change. This refers to the fact, that carbon emitted into the atmosphere remains there for hundreds of years, so unless we take radical action now, those who are not yet born will suffer the worst effects of climate change.

A number of very interesting speakers outlined the scientific, moral, ethical, cultural and political elements of climate change. Theologian and Columban priest, Fr. Seán McDonagh referred to the Pope’s recent encyclical on climate change (Laudato Si’) as “the most important document from the Church in my lifetime”. Fr McDonagh expressed his belief that each diocese should set up a Synod to address the issue of climate change. He quoted the Pope’s strong words about our planet “starting to look more and more like a big pile of rubbish”, and he challenged the notion that human – beings have ‘dominion’ over the Earth.

Two particularly interesting guests were Sigurd Reimers of Grandparents for a Safe Earth and Elizabeth Vezina of the North American Raging Grannies. They are ‘older’ activists who campaign in various ways on climate change and other environmental issues. Sigurd Reimers describes how Grandparents for a Safe Earth engage in peaceful demonstrations, occupy banks and take part in colourful and creative marches and actions. He spoke of the need to be aware of the emotional element of climate change, in particular, as it can lead to feelings of helplessness and frustration. The Raging Grannies, also partake in various colourful direct actions, by conveying their message through song, dance and marches. Perhaps their contributions will inspire some of the attendees to set up similar organisations in Co. Monaghan?

Other speakers at the event included Professor John Barry (Queen’s University), Dr Lorna Gold, (Trócaire) Dr. Frank McGovern (EPA), Paul Nolan (Met Eireann) and Oisín Coughlan (Friends of the Earth). There were also contributions from Young Friends of the Earth, Age Action and Linking Generations (Northern Ireland). One of the key messages to come from the conference was the need to stress to politicians the importance of strong, meaningful emission reduction targets. This is a message with which Transition Monaghan would agree.

Postscript: This week we hear that gigantic fires in Indonesia, that have been intentionally lit,  are  out of control and will make global warming even worse. It points to the urgent need for a concerted effort, by all of us, to use the last opportunity we have to avert the oncoming climate crisis.

u3A

Pictured at the U3A Climate Change Conference in Monaghan were members of Friends of the Earth and Transition Monaghan: (left to right) Sydney Weinberg, Heather Mason, Oisin Coughlan, Mícheál Callaghan, Meaghan Carmody, Liam Murtagh, Charlie Barker and Conan Connolly.

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