CCQA Climate Change Sceptics

Climate Change Q and A Seminar 5: Friday 10 Oct – Will it cost the earth to avoid climate change?

Seminar reminder and Discussion Thread.

Friday 10 October: Will it cost the earth to avoid climate change?

“Mitigating carbon emissions will ruin the economy!”

A host of wait-and-see stalling techniques have arisen out of fear that taking decisive action now to reduce emissions will throw us into an economic depression or back to the stone age. We, in Australia, point the finger, asking why we should take action when other countries aren’t. We also imagine that fossil fuel supplies are so vast that we will never run out of them, at least not for many centuries.

Viable solutions remain under-developed in lieu of debates about population being the “real” problem, carbon offsets being unfeasible, renewable energy being too limited, carbon capture-and-storage being unworkable, and peak oil or other resource crunches being a myth. We look to some future technology or geo-engineering solution saving the day.

This seminar looks at what approaches are available to us now, what energy futures are possible, and how much they will really cost us to implement.

Some of the sceptical or recalcitrant positions to be covered include:

  • Let’s wait and see
  • Kyoto is a big effort for almost nothing
  • Why should Australia do something when China and India are the problem?
  • Climate change mitigation will ruin the economy
  • Population is the problem
  • Carbon offsets don’t work
  • We cannot upscale renewable energy
  • Technology will fix the problem
  • We can geo- or bio-engineer our way out of the problem
  • Carbon capture and storage doesn’t work

Guest Speakers: Dr Davide Ross and Gavan Fox, Carbon Planet. Gavan is the director of Carbon Planet’s audit and advisory division, and will be speaking about the carbon economy from a business perspective. Davide will be speaking from a scientific viewpoint on the concepts behind carbon offsetting (pros and cons), emissions trading, and related technology issues.

Time and place:
5.30 -7.00 pm, Friday 10 October 2008
Lecture Theatre 102, Napier Building, University of Adelaide (North Terrace Campus, City)

Note: Immediately following the above seminar, Professor Brook will be speaking at the Climate Emergency: No more business as usual! conference, in the Basil Hetzel Auditorium, Uni SA City East campus, Frome Street, Adelaide.

Any questions or comments, ask away!

By Barry Brook

Barry Brook is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Chair of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania. He researches global change, ecology and energy.

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