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In December the nations of the world will gather in Paris to attempt to forge a historic, multilateral climate treaty. Most experts agree that this is our last chance to limit global warming to the all-important 2°C. But given our troubled international negotiations up to this point, do we even have a chance of succeeding?
We are delighted to announce this exclusive event with renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough and explorer and conservationist Tim Flannery – the final instalment in our ground-breaking climate change series. Previous events in the series included a comedy showcase; a poetry night (check out the anthology of original poems); a youth summit; a Question Time panel, and now in the run-up to the Paris talks: an exclusive conversation between our two leading champions of the natural world.
How close is the great climate crisis? Can our desire to overcome it drive humanity's next great waves of positive technological, economic, and social revolution? Or will we be plunged into the dystopian collapses and terrors of civilisations past?
The RSA's report on the seven dimensions of climate change discusses the various causes and ramifications of our collective inertia. Intellectually we 'get it', and yet we still cannot close the yawning gulf between our knowledge and our day-to-day behaviour. In trying to close that chasm between cognition and action, we need a different sort of provocation. We need something to electrify us, move us, spur us on, trip us up.
This event is part of an RSA and COIN initiative supported by The Climate Change Collaboration. The seven dimensions of climate change project seeks to turn a scientific fact into a social fact by clarifying what it really means to ‘act’ through the complementary and competing perspectives of Science, Behaviour, Technology, Culture, Law, Economy and Democracy.
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Yes I agree this was a very good event, and I enjoyedwatching it on line. I understand that there is now so much harmful gas in theair that new technologies will need to be found to remove it from theatmosphere before time-lag consequences kick in, but I also want toreinforce what was said on the vital importance of stopping more harmful gassesgoing into the atmosphere. We already have technologies to do this (eginsulation and other Passive House technologies for buildings, now proven capableof making 80 – 90% total energy consumption savings in new and retrofitbuildings). By using these technologies at scale, we can cut energy consumption,including peak winter loads. Urgent adoption of these existing technologies will allowus to convert our energy supply grid to 100% renewable energy and move rapidlyto halting the burning of fossil fuel. By cutting the peak winter load, we canmove £billions of investment from new power stations to deeply retrofitting buildingsand to large scale investment in renewable energy. Finally, Sir David was rightto point out that plentiful cheap energy may facilitate the ongoing destructivehabits of our species. This will be to the detriment of all the other specieson this planet, upon which we ultimately depend. For this reason, it is betterto find economical ways to reduce energy consumption than to simply find ways toproduce more energy alone. Reducing energy demand is entirely compatible with asupply system of renewable wind, solar and tidal technologies.
Thanks for a wonderful way to spend my lunch hour. While I find hope in the new technologies, I agree with Sir David - we will mainly find hope by keeping on talking and believing that change is possible. Even a year ago the BBC news was not reporting climate change as fact and this year while reporting from Paris, it is....things are changing! Thanks to the RSA for keeping this as high profile. It is the most important challenge of our time.