4. Josh Dowton: epistemic priority on the oppressed, 26th January, developments in the coal industry, school strike for climate, insect decline

We're back! After a summer hiatus that lasted a little longer than expected, Byron Smith talks with Josh Dowton, associate pastor at Northside Baptist Church, New Testament scholar and permaculturist.


Episode Outline

I. What's the big idea?

The epistemic priority of the oppressed is a fancy way of saying that in seeking to understand any situation of conflict, we ought to listen first and most carefully to the weaker party, because their voice is more easily dismissed, undermined or sidelined.


An opinion piece giving an overview of some of those who rushed to defend George Pell after his conviction for crimes of sexual violence against teenagers: The inconsistencies of George Pell's defenders just display their power.


II. What's going on?

Story #1: 26th January, #changethedate vs #changethenation vs #changetheheart

Why I no longer support #changethedate

#Changetheheart prayer services for 2019

The Killing Times (new Guardian series)

Lifeline: 13 11 14


Story #2: Developments in the coal industry

Glencore moves to cap global coal output after investor pressure on climate change

Court rules out Hunter Valley coalmine on climate change grounds

Germany to close all 84 of its coal-fired power plants, will rely primarily on renewable energy

The Green New Deal is here, and everyone has something to say about it


Story #3: School Strike for Climate


Map of over 1,800 global climate strike events

Young climate strikers can win their fight. We must all help (George Monbiot)

Greta Thunberg's speech to the UN at COP24

MPs debate climate after school strike - but only a handful turn up (UK)


Story #4: Disappearing insects

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'

Decline in bogong moth numbers could have catastrophic effects in the Australian Alps


III. What do we do?

School strike for climate (Australian events)

Exclusion & Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation by Miroslav Volf


The Bee Friendly Garden: Easy ways to help the bees and make your garden grow by Doug Purdie

Thu 28th March PEACEtalks at Paddington Anglican: Heads in the Sand: Australian climate politics and the church with Byron Smith

Sat 30th March at Small Boat, Big Sea in Fairlight

The Good Dirt (Facebook)



  • Host - Byron Smith
  • Producer - Simon Bunstead
  • Sound - Byron Smith
  • Music - Francis Preve

PS There is one reference towards the end to a "previous episode" with Dr Miriam Pepper discussing the Murray Darling river system. That was a mistake - Miriam will appear in the next episode (#5)! Stay tuned...

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