Kate Flood, PhD Candidate cultural ecosystems services, NUI Galway

I attended Cathy’s first ecoliteracy workshop, having struck up a friendship after hearing her speak at the Conference of Irish Geographers (2018) on art and sustainability. I was struck then by her ideas, and felt immediately the importance of her work. Here was someone finally articulating and speaking about issues with the urgency which I felt at the time, but which was not yet mainstream in public discourse.

Cathy spoke courageously about the sixth extinction, climate change, culture as the fourth pillar of sustainability and through her workshop, introduced me to a host of authors, ideas, and environmental philosophers whose work must be read in this time of change and upheaval.

I continue to admire and deeply appreciate her honesty and courage in speaking about these issues, urging us to strive for a human morality that includes all living beings and reconnects us to ourselves, each other, and the natural world. Shakespeare counsels that we must “Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break”. Cathy’s work and friendship have helped me and many others give that sorrow words, giving us tools to keep going at a time when our hearts are close to breaking as we bear witness to the multiple global crises that are unfolding.