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Few contemporary issues present us with so much information, speculation and polarity of opinion as climate change. While many in the scientific community argue that the planet is headed for environmental disaster, equally determined sceptics dismiss such concerns. Elected officials and the media have taken sides and fiercely defend their often contradictory positions.
As part of the Weather Stations initiative, the Wheeler Centre presents an event that provides, you the audience, a chance to ask experts in the field what’s really going on. All five of the Weather Stations writers in residence from around the globe, including our own Tony Birch, will be amongst a participatory audience. The writers will reflect on their residencies and grill a panel of climate specialists.
Guests on the panel include Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Climate Council, the independent body that was crowdfunded after the Climate Commission’s government funding was withdrawn; Environment Defenders Office CEO Brendan Sydes; and David Karoly, a Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Melbourne.
This is your chance to ask the real experts, so come armed with questions – and stay on to chat with Weather Stations writers and panellists in the aftermath. Nibbles provided, drinks available for purchase.
The final half hour of the published event time is set aside for informal conversation and drinks.
Amanda McKenzie is the CEO of the Climate Council.
Brendan Sydes has been a lawyer for 18 years after graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1995 with degrees in Law and Science. Brendan is CEO of Environmental Justice Australia, a non-profit legal practice dedicated to environmental protection. He led its predecessor, the Environment Defenders Office (Victoria), from 2005.
Robert Purves is a businessman and an environmentalist. He is currently president of WWF Australia and is a former board member of WWF International. Robert is also a founding member of The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, a director of Earth Hour Global, a director of Climate Council of Australia, a patron of the Lizard Island Research Station, and a governor of Australian Youth Climate Coalition.
David Karoly is a Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Melbourne’s School of Earth Sciences.
The Wheeler Centre is one of five partners in a brand new global project, which places literature and storytelling at the heart of the conversations around climate change. Launched in 2014, the Weather Stations project harnesses the transformative power of words to imagine, in the context of a threatened environment, how we might live our lives differently.
Over 18 months, the project will bring together five cultural institutions from around the world: the Wheeler Centre, Free Word in London, internationales literaturfestival Berlin, Krytyka Polityczna in Warsaw and Tallaght Community Arts in Dublin.
Each Weather Station has appointed a writer in residence, whose task is to produce a body of work that reflects how they view our relationship with the environment. The Wheeler Centre’s writer in residence is Tony Birch.
Tony has been blogging regularly at globalweatherstations.com, alongside the other writers involved in the project –Jas Kapela, Mirko Bonné, Oisin McGann and Xiaolu Guo. From Monday 21 April to Monday 12 May, all five writers undertook a residency together in Australia – including several discussions held at the Wheeler Centre. Videos will be produced and posted here soon.
Still to come: in collaboration with some of Victoria’s young citizens, Tony will explore the wide-ranging implications of climate change on future generations. And the writers will undertake further residencies in the home countries of participating Weather Stations partners.
Find out more about Weather Stations at our project page.