Ice & Climate Debate 2015

The story from the Ice & Climate Debate at the Centre for Live, Newcastle May 2015.

  1. .@RachEB93 here, checking in to live tweet the Climate Change debate! We're starting a little bit late but ready to go
  2. Q: How should we effectively communicate climate change?
  3. .@DrSustainable "pitch it at the level you're communicating to... people can't connect with the complex graphs"
  4. Alex Hope "climate change is a social issue... sometimes it's very doom and gloom... we need to be discussing what we can do"
  5. .@socialkantract "people get confused by the media... there's an unfair perspective" - too many sceptics in the media!
  6. Jonathan Elmer thinks we've learnt a lot about communicating climate change. "We're much better at communicating the level of uncertainty"
  7. Prof. Chris Stokes: "we're asking people to change behaviours" for the future generations, not necessarily the here and now!
  8. Some disagreement here on whether we need to focus on the present or the future...
  9. Dr Alex Hope: "People might not make the links between migration and climate change."
  10. Last ice sculpture standing! A nice water feature for our debate
    Last ice sculpture standing! A nice water feature for our debate
  11. .@Jonathan_Elmer "there are a lot of people putting a lot of money into disagreeing with you"
  12. Alice Lepissier - we're seeing a new kind of sceptic... our ways of dealing with costs and benefits are ill equipped
  13. How can we move this forward? What messages might get through?
  14. Chris Stokes: The UK isn't going to feel the warming as much as elsewhere around the globe... but we will get more precipitation!
  15. Chris Stokes: The UK isn't going to feel the warming as much as elsewhere around the globe... but we will get more precipitation!
  16. Here in the UK, "global wetting" makes more impact than "global warming" - Prof Chris Stokes, @GeogDurham
  17. Jonathan Elmer - developing countries need to have a proportionate influence over decision making
  18. Q: Divestment from fossil fuel companies - is it useful?
  19. Alice handling this question first... "absolutely, yes"
  20. Pros and cons from different perspectives, but the big question for investors is "It's a sinking ship. When do you jump off?" - Alice
  21. Fossil fuels are already valued, even those still underground. Companies don't want to lose those assets!
  22. Don't know about anyone else but I'm learning a lot from the economical perspective here
  23. Ignacio Marti, professional in wind energy: "if there is not enough investment coming towards renewables, we will not make it"
  24. Ignacio suggests wind energy is a safe investment, that's why in countries such as Denmark, investment in renewables is increasing
  25. Professor Chris Stokes - "There is another very good reason to keep the fossil fuels in the ground. We might need them later!"
  26. Over a very long time scale, we could go into another ice age. Maybe we'll need to warm the earth a little bit then? Interesting
  27. .@socialkantract thinks divestment is a clear signal to businesses - move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables
  28. Lots more agreement in the room on the issue of divestment!
  29. We're still in the dark but continuing a discussion on "sustainable capitalism"
  30. .@DrSustainable there are examples of countries working together towards this successfully
  31. Alice Lepissier: economic growth isn't bad, it's raised the welfare of millions of people. the question is how we manage this sustainably
  32. Ignacio: "we need to create space in the "market" and give power to citizens"
  33. Dr. Alex Hope - often people point the finer at businesses... we don't point the finger at government. "Businesses want long-term stability"
  34. Jonathan Elmer thinks we can't blame governments totally - often they struggle due to lobbying from big businesses!
  35. .@Jonathan_Elmer "It's not just reduction of carbon emissions that needs to be addressed. There's a whole bunch of resources"
  36. Jonathan Elmer: "we only have one planet, it's finite in nature." He suggests this "infinite economic growth" cannot continue
  37. Professor Stokes thinks we should consider population growth too
  38. .@socialkantract - definitely can have continued prosperity in a world of finite resources
  39. Alice points out that millions of people still lack electricity... but there are many opportunities here e.g. hydropower
  40. Ignacio - sustainable prosperity can be done, here and in third world countries
  41. Moving on... hopes and expectations of the upcoming climate talks in Paris
  42. Chris: it's only when it becomes a moral issue that people will begin to change their actions, and that's beginning to happen #climatechange
  43. .@DrSustainable thinks the past doesn't give much cause for optimism, but he's remaining so anyway!
  44. Dr. Alex Hope - "evidence is pointing us in the right direction, but when politics is involved... the jury's out" #geopolitics
  45. Alice Lepissier is "relatively optimistic" - there's a "perfect storm of things aligning"
  46. Alice - "what's important is the norm setting." Obama is in his legacy phase, China is making huge progress...
  47. "Developed countries are asking developing countries to cut their emissions... there's a huge power discrepancy" - Alice @socialkantract
  48. Jonathan Elmer - agrees, part of tackling climate change is about tackling the inequality around the world
  49. Ignacio: "we are still lacking a long-term, strong, stable policy"
  50. Jonathan criticising the previous Con/Lib coalition record on moving funding AWAY from renewables
  51. Next question: what does the result of #GE2015 mean for the future of #climatechange policy in the UK
  52. Alice: The UK needs to generate energy. Investment in fracking displaces investment in coal. "Not good, but better than the worst"
  53. Alex Hope @DrSustainable: "we have a government that's looking towards short-term, quick wins" #climatechange
  54. Ignacio: A couple of weeks ago the IMF published a report... "Dirty technologies receive 20 more times subsidies than renewables"
  55. Ignacio: the growth in wind industry could stop if there is not a clear signal from the government
  56. Question from the audience... Is nuclear the elephant in the room here?
  57. Jonathan taking this one first... In 2020 the cost of energy coming from wind will be cheaper than the energy from the new nuclear station
  58. Even as a stepping stone, transitions to renewables are more rapid
  59. Alice: "new infrastructure is a long-term investment... you'd better be sure about what you're doing"
  60. Ignacio: agrees that the money paid to EDF in the next five years for the new nuclear development will be more than renewables
  61. Chris Stokes - nuclear is an option but it is short-term... will buy us some time
  62. Some discussion over political system -- Green Party getting over a million votes, but not represented in Westminster!
  63. Ignacio: "when I first started in renewables, no-one was taking it seriously... things can be changed."
  64. Ignacio: "today I'm driving an electric car. technology and science are helpful"
  65. Jonathan: "this is your problem, not somebody else's issue. there is a lot you can do: communicating messages, change your lifestyle..."
  66. Jonathan is a big fan of his electric bike! "Go out and get an electric bike"
  67. Alice: investment and divestment are powerful, write to your MPs...
  68. Chris: it's a combination of small changes. one person can make a difference
  69. Alex: various things you can do, you can change your lifestyle!
  70. And we're done! Big thanks to everyone involved, hope everyone enjoyed :)