9. Mick Pope: Anthropocene, 11,000 scientists, bad climate ancestors, profiting from destruction, and secondary boycotts

A conversation with Dr Mick Pope, who has a PhD in Meteorology from Monash University and is completing a Masters in Theology at the University of Divinity. He is a lecturer in Meteorology at the Bureau of Meterology, Professor in Environmental Theology at Missional University, and a member of the Centre for Religion and Social Policy (RASP). Mick is the author of three books on climate and faith.

  • A Climate of Hope: Church and Mission in a Warming World, co-authored with Claire Dawson
  • A Climate of Justice: Loving your Neighbour in a Warming World
  • All Things New: God’s plan to renew our world

Byron and Mick are moderators of the Australian Christian Environmental Group on Facebook. Mick also has an author's page on Facebook.


Episode Outline

I. What's the big idea?

Byron chats with Mick Pope about the Anthropocene, the proposed new geological epoch named after the most dominant force shaping the planet: anthropoi, i.e. us humans. They explore the history of the term and the debates over its extent, as well as whether it is the right term to describe the recent transformation of the planet's surface and ecosystems. Finally, they ask how this concept helps to illuminate the present moment and contextualise so many of the news stories we seek to understand and respond well to.

Mick mentioned the following two books:


II. What's going on?

1. Climate Crisis: 11,000 Scientists warn of 'untold suffering' - The Guardian


2. Bad ancestors: does the climate crisis violate the rights of those yet to be born? - The Guardian


3. Bank of England boss says global finance is funding 4C temperature rise - The Guardian


4. Scott Morrison slams environmental groups 'targeting' businesses with 'selfish' secondary boycotts - ABC


III. What do we do?

i. Immediate and simple: Join one or more of these - Frontline Action on Coal; Stop Adani; Market Forces; Extinction Rebellion; Common Grace; Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network; Lock the Gate, or various others.

ii. Book recommendation: All Things New: God's plan to renew our world by Mick Pope

iii. More ambitious: join one of the groups mentioned in (i) and get involved in their actions, activities or administration.

Bonus recording: All Things New book launch - PEACEtalks event with Byron Smith, Hwvar Khoshnow, Kylie Beach and Mick Pope recorded at Paddington Anglican Church, 18th November 2017.


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