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Beyond Apathy: Acting on Climate Change

How did climate change action – once ‘the greatest moral, economic and social challenge of our time’ — become political poison? When (and why) did we fall from the giddy heights of the Kyoto Protocol signing, and the rise of emissions reduction schemes around the globe, back to suspicion and resignation?

The environment — and more specifically, climate change — has rapidly plummeted in terms of public priority and political urgency in Australia. And with a new government set to abolish the carbon tax and disband the Australian Climate Commission, what lies ahead?

Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft is joined by Nobel laureate Professor Peter Doherty, Greenpeace Australia CEO David Ritter and award-winning writer Chloe Hooper to discuss environmental issues, activism and writing — and how best to communicate its importance in a changing climate.


Portrait of David Ritter

David Ritter

David Ritter is the Chief Executive Officer of Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

Portrait of Chloe Hooper

Chloe Hooper

Chloe Hooper’s first novel, A Child’s Book of True Crime, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book. The Tall Man, her non-fiction account of the death in custody of Cameron Doomadgee, won many literary awards. Chloe’s latest novel is The Engagement, published in 2012.

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, The Fifth Estate, now in its fourth year. She is a former editor of The Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Portrait of Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty

Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the nature of cellular immune defence, and continues to be involved in research directed at understanding and preventing the severe consequences of influenza virus infection. He was Australian of the Year in 1997, and has since been commuting between St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis and the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne.

He is a huge advocate for evidence-based reality in areas as diverse as childhood vaccination, global hunger and anthropogenic climate change. In an effort to communicate more broadly, he has published four books for general readers. The Knowledge Wars is the latest.

The Fifth Estate

Sally Warhaft has been the Wheeler Centre’s in-house news anchor since 2012. The anthropologist, broadcaster and intrepid interviewer’s fortnightly live series continues in 2015 as she responds to the most important stories of the day and reignites those that have fallen off the front pages. Every second Tuesday, Sally hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs. Topical guests are announced in the weeks prior to events: keep an eye on our website for updates.


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