Climate change 2037: time to act
A hypothetical performance is a novel way to explore the complexities of an issue, helping panellists and audience members to think more deeply about the future.
In 15 years, we’ll be living in a warmer and different world from the one today. The world’s climate has changed, it will continue to change, leading to us experiencing significant impacts. Acting on climate change is a complicated challenge that involves weighing up many different and sometimes conflicting demands. A hypothetical discussion to help reveal issues is a useful communication tool, particularly as it often requires people to present arguments different from those they might actually hold.
This month, Scientell director Simon Torok hosted a panel of experts who played hypothetical and exaggerated versions of themselves to solve the problems of the world in 2037. The scenario involved a changing climate with more extreme events. The hypothetical forced the panellists to consider how they could adapt to the changes, address a sceptical media and mercenary businesses, and reduce emissions through a range of options from renewables to nuclear energy. Along the way, the panel also dealt with other surprises, such as a second term for President Trump, an Australian Republic, and an AFL team for Tasmania!
The event, at the University of Melbourne’s Queen’s College, included University of Melbourne’s Associate Provost Professor Marcia Langton AO, ABC TV finance reporter Daniel Ziffer, climate scientist and communicator Dr Linden Ashcroft, and others.