Cynthia Moe-Lobeda presents at "Water--The Crisis Ahead"

May 13, 2010

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Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, associate professor of theology and religious studies, gave a presentation on ecological ethics and eco-theology at a workshop in Bellevue titled “Water—The Crisis Ahead.” Following is the news release for the event. 

Water—The Crisis Ahead
Foundation For the Future Workshop Elicits Expert Views on Global Water

BELLEVUE, WA, April 28, 2010 -- Experts in issues related to water on the planet met for a three-day, face-to-face workshop entitled "Water -- The Crisis Ahead," hosted and conducted by Foundation For the Future, April 21-23, 2010, in Bellevue, Washington. Broad issues of governance/political will and technology were identified as the most critical factors in addressing the crisis.

"Our forum benefited not only from geographical perspectives representing China, India, Europe, and the United States, but also from disciplines ranging from hydrology, archaeology, and engineering to the arts and ethics," said Sesh Velamoor, Foundation Director of Programs, who moderated the workshop. "Our purpose was to examine the water crisis from a number of angles, and the multidisciplinarity of our participants' backgrounds made for a range of viewpoints and ideas."

An inaugural address entitled “Science and Human Dimensions of Water,” by Professor T.N. Narasimhan, formerly with the Department of Materials Sciences and Engineering at University of California, Berkeley, opened the workshop. Presentations were given by Dr. Chunmiao Zheng, Professor of hydrogeology with responsibilities at both University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and Peking University, Beijing; Ger Bergkamp, Director General of the World Water Council, Marseille, France; Dr. Vernon Scarborough, Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Cincinnati; archaeological writer Dr. Brian Fagan; paleohydrologist and civil engineer Kenneth Wright; Professor Basia Irland, Department of Art, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; and Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Seattle University, whose focus was ecological ethics and eco-theology.

Through the presentations and subsequent discussions, the workshop participants arrived at 11 key issues for approaching the water crisis. These 11 were refined and consolidated into two overriding factors. One, under the heading of governance, was inclusive of considerations of political will, political and economic justice, the need for constitutional guidelines, and economic growth targets based on realistic assessments of resources. The second, technology, encompassed public awareness and issues of values and worldviews, as well as the gamut of challenges for local users all the way to metropolises.

"Our immediate goal in the aftermath of the workshop," said Velamoor," is to prepare and distribute a summary of the findings in an effort to increase public awareness of a large issue that will have impact for us all."

An Executive Summary detailing the conclusions of the workshop "Water -- The Crisis Ahead," including nuances of the discussions, will be published in six weeks and will be available from the Foundation For the Future website.

The workshop was part of Humanity 3000, an ongoing program conducted by Foundation For the Future since 1998 to bring together scholars for workshops, regular seminars, and bi-decade symposia focused on the next thousand years.

Besides hosting scientists, scholars, and futurists for discussions about the long-term future of humanity, Foundation For the Future also annually awards the Kistler Prize for original work in the relationship between the human genome and society. Other awards presented periodically are the Walter P. Kistler Book Award, Walter P. Kistler Science Documentary Film Award, and Walter P. Kistler Science Teacher Award. The Foundation also funds research programs, publishes scholarly works, and undertakes public awareness and education programs concerning the long-term future of humanity. Last fall it launched the Walter P. Kistler Lecture Series to create direct access by the general public to free scholar lectures on critical issues facing humanity.