The Cambridge Climate Lecture Series 2017 kicks off tomorrow, 23 February 2017 at 19:30 with Baroness Bryony Worthington talking about “Climate Change – a race between Physics and Politics.”
Update 24th February 23017:
Here is a video of Baroness Worthington’s lecture. I’ve started transcribing it in the comments
Further lectures in the series are:
2 March 2017: Anthony Hobley, CEO Carbon Tracker Initiative: “2°C Roadmap based on Financial Analysis”
9 March 2017: Professor Kevin Anderson: Deputy Dir. Tyndall Centre for Climate Change: “Paris, climate and surrealism: how numbers reveal an alternate reality”
and16 March 2017: All speakers accompanied by special guest Lord Martin Rees and chaired by Oliver Morton
Sir Martin Rees, Astrologer Royal and ex-head of the Royal Society, explains the thinking behind the series at ClimateNewsNetwork:
“It’s very important to get outside our academic bubble, because those who work in academia are in touch with experts among climate scientists, and they are getting very concerned,” says Rees.
“We need to ensure that this concern is widely disseminated. Academics themselves cannot determine national policies. We have to make sure these issues are discussed and debated widely, and especially among young people. That’s because, although the short-term effects have already affected some regions, what we worry most about is what will happen in the second half of the century and even after that, when we may cross tipping points and see irreversible changes in the global climate.”
He says it is key to start a political discourse followed by action on global warming at a time when Brexit and other issues are hogging the limelight.
“Hopefully the public will help us debate this, firm up our ideas and interact with the political process,” Rees says, “because for politicians the urgent issues tend to be higher on the list and you have to work hard to get them to think about an issue that affects people in 50 years or more.
“You have to convince them it is important – indeed, essential – to pay an insurance premium now if we are to remove a potential very serious risk to people in the second half of the century.
“We should not listen to the siren voices that say we can avoid doing very much now because there will be advanced technology in 50 years’ time and everyone will be richer … we have to make a start…”
Sir Martin, who gives the human race a 50% probability of surviving into the next century, seems to believe that you can stop bad things from happening by paying an insurance premium. If he doesn’t understand how insurance works, what chance is there of understanding the climate? His calls to “ensure that this concern is widely disseminated” and to “start a political discourse followed by action on global warming” and his hope that “the public will help us debate this” suggest he’s either just dusted off an old speech from the nineties or has been hiding in a time capsule on Mars for the past twenty years.
Eric Worrall at WUWT suggested this series represents “a last stand by the climate community.” We’ll see.
You can watch the lectures free on-line at http://www.climate-series.eng.cam.ac.uk/ I’m looking forward to Kevin Anderson on “Paris, climate and surrealism.” Will he come dressed as Salvador Dali accompanied by a polar bear on fire? I do hope so.